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Bikers jailed under $1 million bonds; one bond-reduction hearing set

Bikers jailed under $1 million bonds; one bond-reduction hearing set

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The more than 170 members of biker gangs that Waco law enforcement officials say were involved in a deadly biker gang shootout Sunday at Twin Peaks won’t be going anywhere soon.

Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson set bonds for 174 gang members charged with engaging in organized criminal activity at $1 million each.

“I think it is important to send a message,” Peterson said. “We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.”

MORE: Partial list of suspects charged in shootout

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Jimmy Don Smith, 59, of Caldwell, moved quickly Monday in getting a bond-reduction hearing set. Dan Jones, a Bryan lawyer, was in Judge Ralph Strother’s 19th State District Court on Monday to request the hearing for Smith, a mechanic with Novosad Enterprises of Caldwell. Strother set the hearing for June 5.

Peterson declined to release the identities of the nine men killed Sunday because he said only one man’s family has been notified that he knows of so far.

He said all but two of those killed were not from the Waco area, but declined to say where they were from.

Even if the men bond out of jail, they likely won’t be riding their motorcycles home. The motorcycles were confiscated as part of the massive law enforcement investigation, and sources say they likely will be seized and forfeited by McLennan County through civil forfeiture procedures and sold at auction.

In affidavits to support the arrests of the bikers issued by Peterson on Monday morning, Waco police Officer Manuel Chavez officially identifies the groups as “members and associates of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.”

While Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton declined to identify the opposing groups Sunday, he said at least five motorcycle gangs were involved in the altercation.

“The members and associates of the Cossacks and Bandidos were wearing common identifying distinctive signs or symbols and/or had an identifiable leadership and/or continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities,” the affidavit says. “The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains a database containing information identifying the Cossacks and their associates as a criminal street gang and the Bandidos and their associates as a criminal street gang.”

After the shootout, firearms, knives or “other unknown edged weapons,” batons, clubs, brass knuckles and other weapons were recovered from members and associates of both gangs, the complaint alleges.

Other weapons also were found on their motorcycles.

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Related to this story

Darhonda McFarland was already on edge Sunday afternoon because of the massive shootout near Twin Peaks when 30 black-clad bikers walked into her restaurant about 1:30 p.m.

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