Feds take out Bandidos lawyers
(photo gallery)- A San Antonio judge has removed the lawyer of the president of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club from a federal racketeering case aimed at gutting the national leadership of the organization.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad agreed with prosecutors who argued that lead defense attorney Kent Schaffer of Houston might have a conflict of interest while representing Bandidos president Jeffrey Fay Pike, of Conroe.
Schaffer represented two then-Bandidos members who are now government witnesses, and who allege that Pike and Bandidos vice president John Xavier Portillo ordered Bandidos to turn over their court documents when they got arrested so Schaffer could review the papers and see who might be cooperating against the organization.
Bemporad’s order also disqualifies Schaffer’s co-counsel on the Pike case, James Kennedy, another lawyer in Schaffer’s firm, because he was Schaffer’s co-counsel on the cases of the Bandidos-turned-government witnesses.
“In light of the previous representations, the continued representation by Mr. Schaffer and Mr. Kennedy of Defendant Pike in this case presents either an actual conflict of interest, or a serious potential conflict of interest,” the judge wrote in his six-page order that was unsealed late Monday. “Mr. Schaffer and Mr. Kennedy must be disqualified from representing Defendant Pike in this case.”
The order comes after a pair of hearings in San Antonio during which Schaffer denied the allegations.
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