Bandidos to plead guilty in 2006 murder of rival biker

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Four reputed members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club have signed plea deals in which they will admit to their roles in the killing of a man in Austin who reportedly tried to start a chapter of the California-based rival, the Hells Angels.

The Bandidos have long been suspected of the hit on Anthony W. Benesh III, who was gunned down March 18, 2006, in front of his girlfriend and two children as they left Saccone’s Pizza in Austin.


Benesh,44, had been wearing a motorcycle vest depicting the Hells Angels’ death head and colors, despite being told by the Bandidos that he could not do so in Texas, which is Bandidos territory, and that he would be killed if he didn't stop, according to federal court documents.

In a news release in March, the FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Johnny “Downtown Johnny” Romo, 47, his brother Robert Romo, 45, Jesse James “Kronic” Benavidez and Norberto “Hammer” Serna Jr., murdered Benesh on March 18, 2006, to protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandidos enterprise.

Newly filed court records said all four went to Austin to carry out the hit. They also say that Robert Romo shot from a high-powered rifle at a nearby parking lot, and he will plead guilty to a murder in aid of racketeering, and discharging a firearm during murder in aid of racketeering. His brother, Johnny Romo will plead to the same charges, while Benavidez and Serna will plead guilty to discharing a firearm during murder in aid of racketeering.

Their plea hearings have not yet been scheduled, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Fuchs. The murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence, while discharging a firearm count carries a sentence of up to life.

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