Bandidos biker gang president freed on $250K bond

Jeffrey Pike, the national president of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, is escorted from the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Houston. National leaders of the Bandidos biker gang were arrested Wednesday on charges of racketeering and waging a deadly "war" on the rival Cossacks gang, federal authorities said. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — The national president of the Bandidos biker gang, who faces life in prison if convicted on racketeering, drug distribution and other charges, has been freed on $250,000 bond.

Jeffrey Pike of Conroe was released Monday following a detention hearing in Houston.

Pike and other Bandidos leaders were arrested last week in an investigation into racketeering, extortion, drug trafficking, murder and other violent crimes.

Attorneys for the 60-year-old Pike say he’s no threat to the community. Several defense witnesses testified that they did not believe Pike would flee if granted bond.

Federal authorities accuse the Bandidos of waging a deadly “war” on the rival Cossacks biker gang. That rivalry entered the spotlight last May, when a shootout between police and bikers in Waco, Texas, left nine people dead.

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