ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Two motorcycle gangs may be on the brink of war with Albuquerque as ground zero, according to a law enforcement bulletin obtained by KRQE News 13.
The FBI "situational information report" warns that violence is escalating between the rival Vagos and Bandidos motorcycle clubs.
The FBI points to two recent events including a fatal shootout on Fourth Street NW on Sunday as signs of possible violence involving motorcycle gang members from across the country.
The report sent to a handful of local law enforcement agencies from Albuquerque to Santa Fe characterizes the situation as, "Escalating conflict between the Bandidos motorcycle club, the Vagos motorcycle club and other associated motorcycle support clubs"
"They're involved with murders. They're involved with extortion. They're pretty violent," an undercover officer in Albuquerque told KRQE News 13.
Last month News 13 On Special Assignment reporter Kim Holland profiled what many feared would be coming violence between the Vagos and Bandidos .
Sunday's shootout between the Vagos and the Black Berets saw that fear begin to play out. One man was killed in the gunfight, and police collected more than 70 shell casings.
At a hearing for Vagos member Malachi Seaman, charged with aggravated assault in the case, a detective assessed the three Vagos members alleged to have started the trouble.
"They basically came in looking for a fight," an APD detective said during Seaman's bond hearing on Tuesday. "When Mr. Seaman was processed, he was wearing a bulletproof vest."
The FBI report keys in on that kind of information noting Vagos and Bandidos club members "have been reported to open carry firearms in tactical holsters, wear bullet proof vests, and have demonstrated an advanced level of firearms tactics and proficiency in a live fire situation."
At Seaman's bond hearing, Metropolitan Court Judge Sharon Walton expressed the same kind of concern.
"I am aware that there have been some kinds of threats, that this is not the end of the situation," Walton said. "So I do think that this situation presents a very real risk to the community."
In response to the Sunday shootout, the FBI report warns, Bandidos members across the country were directed to travel to Albuquerque.
The FBI says Vagos members may already be awaiting orders from national leadership.
According to the report, Seaman's brother Japheth, who was killed in the shootout, was the sergeant at arms for the Vagos gang.
The FBI also cautions its report is situational information only and not fully evaluated intelligence.
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