Three leaders in the Bandidos motorcycle club headed to prison

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Three leaders of the Bandidos motorcycle gang face prison time after pleading guilty to selling methamphetamine and loaded firearms to other states, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.

Philip Duran, 42, aka “Bandido Fee”; Michael Mensen, 46, aka “Bandido Tick”; and Lorenzo Sojo, 41, pleaded guilty to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act — Pattern of Racketeering and felony drug charges, the attorney general’s office said in a news release.

Sojo, president of the Bandidos Denver Westside Chapter, was sented to 20 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Mensen, a Bandidos national sergeant at arms, was sentenced to 24 years in prison, according to the news release.

Duran, who also served as a national sergeant at arms, cut his ankle bracelet and fled just before his sentencing hearing. He is considered armed and dangerous, the attorney general said.

An investigation into the Bandidos criminal activity began in September 2014 when the Attorney General’s Office and the Metro Gang Task Force began surveillance of high-ranking members suspected of large-scale drug distribution. Investigators used a wire tap as part of the surveillance.

The three Bandidos conspired to distribute narcotics and collect the proceeds from mid-level drug dealers, the news release said. They also imported several pounds of methamphetamine from California and attempted to send loaded firearms to Las Vegas through various shipping services, the attorney general said.

They used banks and other money transfer services to launder their drug proceeds.

The Bandidos is an outlaw motorcycle club, which are considered gangs by law enforcement.

In January, a fight between rival clubs at the annual Denver Motorcyle Expo left one man dead and another wounded after a Colorado Department of Corrections employee fired at them. The dead and the wounded man were members of the Mongols. The corrections department employee belonged to the Iron Order.

 

In 2011, 40 members of the Bandidos were indicted on federal gun and drug charges. Six of those charged were from Colorado.

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Noelle Phillips
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denverpost.com




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