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Mass Roundup of Bikers in Waco Shootout Tests Limits of Court System -



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MAY 19, 2015

WACO, Tex. — The deadly shootout here on Sunday between rival motorcycle gangs has led to what appears to be the largest roundup and mass arrest of bikers in recent American history, experts said. As the roughly 170 people facing organized-crime charges in the case continued to clog up the local court system on Tuesday, new details emerged about the disputes that led to the violence.

“Out of 32 years working biker cases, this is the biggest one I have seen in the United States,” said Steve Trethewy, who works in the intelligence unit of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “The case will be a challenge for law enforcement. I am glad I am not the investigator. It is huge.”

Managing the flood of suspects has proved difficult for Waco officials, who have been criticized by defense lawyers for setting bond for all of the defendants at $1 million each. Three suspects were released at far lower bond levels, but the authorities refused to characterize the release as a mistake, saying the three men had been arrested outside the perimeter Sunday and processed separately from the others.