Police crack down on motorcycle gangs in Santa Fe
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Police in tourist-friendly Santa Fe, New Mexico, increased patrols and surveillance amid tensions between two motorcycle gangs that sparked a drive-by shooting and a hospital lockdown, authorities said Wednesday.
The measures were ordered after a member of the Vagos Motorcycle Club was shot and wounded while the home of a Bandidos Motorcycle Club member was being riddled with bullets in a drive-by attack, police spokesman Greg Gurule said.
The situation has some residents on edge in the capital of New Mexico, known for its tranquil historic plaza, art galleries and festivals.
“We want to make sure residents (and visitors) feel safe,” Gurule said. “We are not going to put up with this.”
The elder Cordova was wounded in the arm during the incident, but it was unclear who fired the shot, police said.
Santa Fe Police Capt. Robert Vasquez said officers confirmed the elder Cordova is a Vagos member and that a Bandidos member, who has not been named, lives in the house.
The Bandidos member is not cooperating with police, but officers have placed a 24-hour surveillance trailer outside his home, Gurule said.
After being shot, Cordova was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where a temporary lockdown was ordered when Vagos members crowded the emergency room to visit him.
The tensions in Santa Fe also come as federal authorities are cracking down on the two gangs.
In June, federal authorities arrested 23 Vagos motorcycle club leaders along with members and associates in three states on charges that included murder, racketeering, kidnapping, robbery and assault.
A 12-count indictment alleged the club is a racketeering enterprise with nearly 90 chapters in at least seven countries, including about 50 chapters in California and Nevada.