Comanchero Motorcycle Club
|Founded||1965  or 1973|
|Founder||William George "Jock" Ross|
|Type||Outlaw motorcycle club|
|Region||New South Wales coast|
The Comanchero Motorcycle Club is an outlaw motorcycle gang in Australia, with chapters in Strathfield. The word outlaw itself carries a specific meaning which does not imply immediate criminal intent; rather it means the club is not sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and does not adhere to the AMA's rules. The Comancheros are participants in the United Motorcycle Council of NSW, which has recently convened a conference aimed at addressing legislation aimed against the "bikie" clubs, their poor public image in the wake of several violent clashes and ongoing biker wars, and defusing deadly feuds such as the Comancheros' battles with the Hells Angels. The sincerity of these efforts to defend the battered image of the clubs has met with skepticism.
The original club was formed by William George "Jock" Ross, a Scottish immigrant, in Sydney, New South Wales in 1968. He chose the name after seeing the John Wayne film The Comancheros. In late 1982, a second Comanchero chapter was formed by Anthony Mark "Snoddy" Spencer, who had broken away from the first chapter after challenging Ross' authority. When visiting the United States with Charles Paul "Charlie" Scibberas, another member of the second chapter, Spencer met with members of the Texan motorcycle club, the Bandidos and the two gangs became allies. The Bandidos eventually patched-over the second Comanchero chapter to become the Bandidos' first Australian chapter.
The Comanchero and Bandidos were now rivals and in 1984, the two clubs were involved in the Milperra massacre, a shoot-out which left seven people dead, including four Comanchero, two Bandidos, and a 14-year-old bystander. Jock Ross received a lifetime jail sentence for his involvement in the Milperra massacre but only served five years and three months before he was released.
The Comanchero and Hells Angels were also believed to be involved in a clash at Sydney Airport on Sunday, 22 March 2009. The clash resulted in one man being beaten to death and police estimated as many as 15 men were involved in the violence. Police documents detail the brawl as a result of a Comanchero Club member and a Hells Angels Member being on the same flight from Melbourne. Six Comancheros were arrested as a result of the altercation and have been convicted of "riot and affray", while Comanchero president Mick Hawi was also found guilty of murder on 2 November 2011. As a result of heightening violence, New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees announced the state police anti-gang squad would be boosted to 125 members from 50.
The Comanchero established a single Western Australian chapter in 2010 which is presently located on Wellman Street, Northbridge at the Fitness and Fight Centre.
The Comanchero expansion into Western Australia was delayed by the 2010 arrest of Steve Milenkovski who was about to be patched as the Perth’s Chapter president when he was arrested in the culmination of Operation Baystone. Operation Baystone resulted in Milenkovski, Yavuz Ozan, Hao Bi, and Mark Vick Kitos being charged with various drug offences. The operation seized 7.5 kilograms of methylamphetamine imported into Western Australia from New South Wales.
In August 2012 Milenkovski was found guilty of two counts of Possess a Prohibited Drug with Intent to Sell or Supply after a 9 week Perth District Court trial and sentenced to 17 years jail as the "king pin". Two of his co-accused, were convicted of one charge each of attempted possession including David Tanevski who was sentenced to eight years' jail. Hao Bi, who was alleged to have been the courier was acquitted.
In May 2014 eight men including two patched members of the Comanchero were charged for allegedly extorting businesses in Northbridge.
On 5 September 2012, Comanchero member Faalau Pisu was murdered, being shot in the head outside the Serbian National Defence Council at Canley Vale whilst attending a wedding. A 25-year-old gang member and a 27-year-old associate of the club were also shot and injured. NSW Police allege that an internal rift within the Comanchero was behind recent shootings involving Comanchero members.
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- Lawrence, Kara (24 March 2009). "Tension in the air on Qantas flight 430 from Melbourne". The Daily Telegraph.
- Davies, Lisa (2 November 2011). "Comanchero Club boss Mick Hawi found guilty of airport murder". The Daily Telegraph.
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- "Green stops Jones in first round". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Bikie court bungle 'put lives at risk', ABC News, 7 August 2009
- Bikies fly in for club celebration - The West Australian
- Halting steps mark bikie battle - The West Australian
- "Comanchero president in drug bust". The Australian. 26 February 2010.
- Three men guilty of drugs charges - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Brown, Anne-Louise (14 September 2012), Head bikie gets 17 years for drug haul, watoday.com.au
- WAHLQUIST, Calla (23 May 2014), Three men linked to the Comancheros charged with extortion, perthnow.com.au
- Morello, Vincent (5 November 2012), Comanchero bikie shot dead at wedding, The West Australian
- Comanchero rift may be behind Sydney shooting, The West Australian, 8 November 2012