NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms say one of the biker gangs involved in that deadly shootout in Waco, Texas, on Sunday is very active in Louisiana.
The ATF tells FOX 8 the Bandidos have also claimed Louisiana part of their home territory.
"We have worked closely with State Police as well as quite a few local law enforcement agencies where the Bandidos have been, you know, kind of where their chapters sit located," said ATF Special Agent Kevin Moran, saying some of those chapters have been in the New Orleans area. "Make no mistake about it - even when these outlaw biker groups are out of the limelight, per say, with the news media or even flying under the radar with law enforcement, they're very active with the criminal activity that they are involved with."
The ATF also points out that outlaw motorcycle gangs also call themselves the 1 percenters, meaning that only 1 percent of those who ride are criminals.
"So 99 percent of motorcycle riders are just, you know, fun-loving citizens that enjoy riding on two wheels," Moran said.
We talked with New Orleans Harley-Davidson manager Kylie Pardo, who said there are bike nights all over the metro area but the majority of those groups are charitable organizations with no gang affiliation.
"People think bike night, big bad biker," Pardo said. "I'm a biker, you know. I go to bike nights all over the city. There's, you know, doctors, lawyers, there's people who work in boutique shops - there's not one type of biker."
And while only a small percentage of bikers are members of violent, criminal groups like the Bandidos continue to be closely monitored by law enforcement.
"We work very well at all levels of law enforcement to keep track of who these members are," Moran said. "Sometimes they have turnover in membership. It's a constant battle to make sure we have our - if you will - databases of outlaw biker gangs up to speed, and we know who's who in these different groups."
The ATF said local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies often share intelligence on the gangs so they can keep an eye on them and hopefully prevent something like what we saw in Waco from happening here.