HOUSTON (KTRK) --Jeffrey Pike may have began Monday in an orange jail uniform, but he will end it as a free man. Pike should be free on a $250,000 bond after his attorneys convinced a federal judge that the President of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club should be granted bail.
"We're saying he's not a danger, he's not a flight risk, but more importantly, they did not put on evidence saying that he was," said attorney Kent Schaffer, who is representing Pike.
In a detention hearing that dragged on for several hours, Schaffer put several family and friends of Pike on the stand, all testifying to his roots in the community and his unlikeliness to leave the Houston area should he be granted bond.
One of the witnesses was Emmanuel Johnson, who testified that he met Pike through various motorcycle activities, and that Pike has worked on several cars for him. Johnson was one of two witnesses who agreed to cosign the bond.
"(I know him) from motorcycles and cars he's done fabricating for me," said Johson outside the court house, "he's a good man."
And Johnson wasn't alone. Travis Pike, the 30-year old son, testified in court that he would visit his father's custom fabrication shop next to his Conroe home at least twice a week. He testified that his father was looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild, expected in just a few months.
All of the witnesses say they knew that Pike is the President of the Bandidos. However, they all said they don't see Pike as a criminal accused of racketeering, drug trafficking, and leading a war against rival motorcycle club the Cossacks.
In contrast, federal prosecutors only called one witness: an FBI agent who did not specifically work on the case. The agent did testify that the Bandidos had a violet reputation, and that several past presidents of the organization had gone to prison for a variety of crimes. However, the agent also admitted on the stand that Pike may have actually been trying to clean up the motorcycle club's reputation.
Bottom line, the government couldn't convince the judge in this case to link the violent history of the club to its current president.
"They're bringing in evidence that Bandidos are bad guys, and this guy is the president so you should hold him without bond, that's what the indictment is," said Schaffer.
For this first court battle, the judge sided with Pike's supporters. Once Pike posts bond, he will be able to continue on his daily life with relatively few restrictions as the case winds its way through the court system. Pike has already pleaded not guilty.
"I think it's rubbish," said Sharon Caradine, Pike's mother-in-law, when asked about the charges. She, along with other family members, promised to support Pike as he fights his case.