4 BANDIDOS INDICTED IN AUSTIN MAN’S 2006 SLAYING
Members of motorcycle club held in shooting at Austin restaurant.
Four of the highest-ranking members of the Bandidos motorcycle club have been indicted and arrested on charges related to the 2006 killing of a man in Austin, according to federal prosecutors.
Anthony Benesh III, 44, was with his two children outside a Northwest Austin pizza restaurant in March 2006 when a single shot, believed to have been fired from an elevated portion of U.S. 183, struck and killed him in a sniper-style attack.
Authorities believe the slaying was an attempt by the Bandidos to protect their turf in Texas. The incident highlighted the club’s continued foothold on the state, where it has remained a dominant motorcycle gang for years.
Benesh was attempting to create a Texas chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. He received multiple threatening voice and text messages indicating that he should stop wearing the insignia of the Hells Angels while in the state.
After a San Antonio federal grand jury returned the indictment, law enforcement officials arrested four people in Waco and San Antonio on Thursday. According to the U.S. Justice Department:
Johnny Romo (aka “Downtown Johnny”), 47, is charged with murder in aid of racketeering and discharging a firearm. Romo was a national sergeant at arms of the Bandidos.
Robert Romo, 45, faces the same charges as Johnny Romo. He was a member of the Bandidos’ San Antonio Centro chapter.
Jesse James Benavidez (aka “Kronic”), 40, is charged with discharging a firearm during a murder in aid of racketeering. Benavidez was sergeant at arms of the Bandidos San Antonio Centro chapter.
Norberto Serna Jr. (aka “Hammer”), 35, faces the same charges as Benavidez. He was a member of the Bandidos San Antonio Centro chapter.
The new indictment is part of a larger case the Justice Department has put together against the Bandidos, including charges against other Bandidos leaders federal prosecutors say were involved in killings in 2002 and 2014 in Atascosa County and Fort Worth.