HIGH-RANKING BANDIDOS MOTORCYCLE GANG MEMBERS RECEIVE LENGTHY SENTENCES FOR RACKETEERING, LEADER REMAINS AT LARGE
DENVER—Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman today announced that several high-ranking members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Gang have pled guilty to charges arising from the wiretap investigation, “Operation Tick & Flea Collar.” In September of 2014, the Attorney General’s Office and the Metro Gang Task Force began investigating high-ranking members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Gang for suspicion of large-scale drug distribution and racketeering. Recently the top three targets pled guilty to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act – Pattern of Racketeering (Class 2 Felony) and Class 1 Drug Felony charges.
The top three members of the drug trafficking operation include National Sergeant at Arms Philip Duran aka “Bandido Fee” (D.O.B. 9/22/74), National Sergeant at Arms Michael Mensen (D.O.B. 12/12/69)aka “Bandido Tick”, and President of the Denver Westside Chapter Lorenzo Sojo (D.O.B. 07/21/75). Throughout the course of the investigation, these primary actors conspired to distribute narcotics and collect drug proceeds from mid-level distributors. The group also imported several pounds of methamphetamine from California and attempted to send loaded firearms to Las Vegas, using various shipping services. The group used banks and other money transfer services to launder their drug proceeds.
Each of the three individuals has pled guilty and is subject to a lengthy sentence in a Colorado Department of Corrections facility. Lorenzo Sojo was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the drug trafficking organization. Michael Mensen, aka “Bandido Tick,” was sentenced to serve 24 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy.
“One weapon we have against dangerous gangs is the ability to disrupt their cash flow. By attacking the Bandidos’ drug trafficking operation, we limit their ability to fund gang activity that puts Colorado communities at risk,” said Attorney General Coffman. “We have two gang leaders in custody and we are going to find the third. The public’s help is always appreciated.”
The leader of the drug trafficking organization Philip Duran, aka “Bandido Fee,” remains at large after cutting off his ankle monitor and fleeing Denver District Court just before his
sentencing hearing. Duran is wanted on an outstanding bench warrant. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with any information on Duran’s whereabouts could earn up to a $2,000 reward. Please contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867), or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then use the title “DMCS” and enter the message.
Photos of all three men are attached to this email.
# # #
DateNovember 22nd, 2016