Six Shooter Junction – Items leaked anonymously to social media sources outline months of meticulous planning by the Department of Public Safety, officials of which were convincted there would be violence at Twin Peaks on May 17. City police and federal agents supplied information gleaned from their criminal intelligence operations, their conclusions vehemently opposed by the biker community as spurious suppositions.
The why and the how of the decisions that led to exactly what defense would be made against projected violence at a Confederation of Clubs meeting on May 17 at Twin Peaks Restaurant as it begins to emerge provides a fascinating glimpse of the behind the scenes methods used to target the persons who were shot and then arrested for engaging in organized criminal activity. All this led to the capital murder of nine bikers who died in a hail of gunfire, 20 of whom were wounded, as well as about 150 others charged with the identical offense, who did nothing more than run and hide when gunfire erupted.
Based on what the documentation reveals, it’s fair to say it will be easy for defense counsel to sew handles on the football in vigorous cross examination of prosecution witnesses.
A lengthy report by DPS Agent Christopher Frost, approved by the chief of the operation, Lt. Steven Schwartz, begins by explaining that a detective with the Lorena Police, a “gang expert” named Rogers acting as a “handler” for a source of information inside the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, had learned of a “sudden change” in plans to hold the May 17 meeting at Waco, rather than at Austin.
Based on what Rogers told him, Frost concluded that this “was purposely done to show support for the Bandido OMG [outlaw motorcycle gang] in the Waco area to the Cossacks MC.”
Rogers told DPS officers that violence was inevitable. It was all based on allegations made by a confidential informant – a snitch – who was masquerading as a member of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, or one of its support clubs.
Motorcycle enthusiasts who demanded anonymity scoffed at any such notion. They pointed out that on March 28, Twin Peaks franchise owner Jay Patel held a “bike night” and members of both the Cossacks and Los Caballeros, a Bandidos support club, attended in peace.
On April 16, a State Trooper saw 40 to 50 Cossacks turning into the parking lot of Twin Peaks. At that point, the Waco Police and McLennan Sheriff’s Department made a decision to patrol the Central Texas Marketplace and Twin Peaks, looking for any criminal activity.
Frost’s report says police arrested a biker with a pistol and a padlock tied inside a bandana at Twin Peaks on April 23. Bikers say that’s not true, that he was arrested at a fabric store across the parking lot.
It’s hard to mount a defense against a conspiracy charge without accurate representation of the true facts that led to the charge. Hence, discovery, which is held up by legal wrangling, is vital.
On the afternoon of March 22, Frost reported, Lorena police responded to a fight on the southbound lanes of I-35 near mile marker 323. Witnesses said the drivers of three pickup trucks forced a motorcyclist against the inside barrier wall. “Eight to ten male subjects” assaulted Bandido Rolando Campos with a chain, a baton, and “possibly” a pipe. Police told the DPS the Cossacks assaulted Campos because they were “at odds due to the Cossacks wearing the bottom Texas rocker on the back lower portion of their jackets.”
According to Frost, “the Cossacks MC is known to be involved in criminal activity, including but not limited to, narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, assault, extortion and murder.” He offered no proof of any of these offenses, nor did he name any individuals so suspected.
Police were on a diligent lookout for Bandidos, and when they got a report of a large number of them at the Flying J Truckstop, New Road at I-35, on March 17, they came on the double. Almost simultaneously, the Bandidos, who had topped off their scooters’ gas tanks after their ride from out of town, split “in a hurry,” according to a published report.
The cops assumed they were headed to Legends Cycles, but they soon learned they were not there. According to a confidential source, “I am sure that they were going to visit Rolando at the hospital because he had been released from ICU. Campos “nearly lost an eye” in the beating he had taken a week earlier in Lorena.
While it’s true that numerous violent confrontations between Cossacks and Bandidos had taken place throughout the state, Frost offers no correlation between those fights and the events he describes, other than to say that Detective Rogers of the Lorena force believed the Cossacks were upset over the Bandidos collecting dues for the Confederation of Clubs.
Said a member of the confederation, “Look, if you want to play golf, and you join a club, you pay dues, and that’s all there is to it.”
Going into the May 17 meeting, the DPS agents contacted Mr. Patel on May 14, who told them he had rented the patio to the COC for the afternoon of Sunday, May 17. He, Patel, had hired three security guards. Frost told Patel he would put undercover agents inside the restaurant. Lt. Schwartz later changed his mind.
Few in the biker community believe this is true. They think there were many undercover officers and agents mingling in the crowd at Twin Peaks.
On the morning of the 17th, Frost “deployed DPS CID covert camera. The camera was placed in the public right of way and was positioned to capture the patio area of Twin Peaks.”
When they entered the parking lot, Schwartz placed Special Agents Dale and Frost with him in a patrol unit; Ledbetter and Overcast were paired in another; Gerik and detective Rogers were placed in yet another car, waiting to see what would happen.
At 12:24, Special Agent Gerik reported gunshots from the parking lot of Twin Peaks. According to affidavits filed in a bond reduction hearing for Dallas Bandidos Chapter President David Martinez, he shot first, then ditched his .32 caliber pistol. Evidence from the pole camera, now embargoed for “analysis” along with in-car video from Waco Police Officer Michael Bucher’s unit, will perhaps either confirm, or deny that allegation.
NEXT: Eyewitness reports of two Waco police officers of what they saw and did once the shooting started at Twin Peaks on May 17