NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Saturday’s shootout in Red River has people wondering just how prominent motorcycle gangs are in the landscape of New Mexico crime. The head of New Mexico’s FBI said, while there is a presence of biker gang activity across the state, violent situations like Saturday’s shootout are rare.
“These incidents will be treated as isolated incidents and not necessarily looked at as a gang from a state-local perspective,” said FBI Special Agent Raul Bujanda.
Bujanda said well-known annual bike rallies, such as this past weekend, can bring out a gang element. New Mexico State Police said they were bracing for problems after being alerted that more than 400 Bandidos were heading to the rally from Texas.
Bujanda said, unlike Texas, New Mexico does not have a database to track affiliated gang members, but outlaw motorcycle gangs, or OMGs, are a small part of the state’s crime network.
“OMGs are in the business of doing illegal activity, but it might be on the smaller scale. I wouldn’t say, by any means, they are the problem of all the drugs or guns we have on our street today.”
The FBI said it believes the majority of the members in these gangs have day jobs and just want to be part of a club and aren’t personally committing crimes.
Bujanda explained, in addition to the Waterdogs and Bandidos, the Mongols also have a local chapter in New Mexico.
The FBI said it is working with State Police to ensure upcoming bike rallies in the state stay peaceful.
The agency is asking anyone with information about potential incidents to reach out.