Wed
05
Dec
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Kingsmen trial witness sentenced to probation

COURT: Witness in case receives three years of probation for misdemeanor drug charge.

A witness in the 2014 Kingsmen Motorcycle Club double-murder was spared prison-time Wednesday for a drug arrest in 2016.

Leslie Maziarz, of North Tonawanda, was sentenced by Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy III to three years of probation for a misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance charge. 

Maziarz was arrested July 8, 2016 on a felony drug charge after police executed a search warrant on a North Tonwanda residence and found her and Steven Papoi with cocaine. She pleaded guilty in November 2016 and entered a two-year drug diversion program. 

Upon completing the program, Maziarz was allowed to plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor drug charge. 

Tue
04
Dec
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Trial Wraps Up in U.S. Attempt to Yank Motorcycle Club Trademark

A federal prosecutor Monday told jurors who were “witnesses to a lengthy parade of cruelty” for the past five weeks in a trial against a Los Angeles-based motorcycle club that they should vote to yank Mongol Nation’s trademark while the organization’s attorney argued it has been targeted because its membership is primarily Mexican-American.

“Over the past five weeks you’ve been witness to a lengthy parade of cruelty,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Welk said of the evidence presented of the club’s criminal history since its founding in 1969.

For the first time, federal prosecutors are trying to get a motorcycle club found guilty of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering in order to have its trademark taken away. It would mean the club’s motorcyclists could no longer wear the patches they wear on their “cuts,” slang for leather jackets.

Wed
28
Nov
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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura defends Mongols Motorcycle Club in federal court in Orange County

His testimony was part of an ongoing federal racketeering trial

Former Minnesota governor and retired pro wrestler Jesse Ventura testified in a Santa Ana courtroom Wednesday about his longstanding membership in the Mongols Motorcycle Club, defending the organization against government allegations that it has operated as a criminal enterprise.

Ventura, the highest profile member of the Mongols, took the stand as an expert witness in the midst of an ongoing federal racketeering trial in which prosecutors are attempting to gain control over the motorcycle club’s trademark name, a move that would allow law enforcement to bar the bikers from wearing the patches that adorn their vests.

Wed
31
Oct
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Notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club fighting U.S. government to keep its vest patch

A federal racketeering trial against the notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club began Wednesday in a Santa Ana courthouse, with prosecutors accusing the Southern California-based organization of supporting drug trafficking and encouraging vicious assaults and even murder.

Unlike past racketeering trials that targeted named members of the outlaw motorcycle gang, the current trial specifically targets the Mongol Nation, as prosecutors seek to gain legal control over the organization’s trademark name, which adorns some of the patches members wear on their vests.

If successful, federal prosecutors have previously indicated, the move would allow law enforcement to stop Mongol members and literally take the jacket off of their backs anywhere in the United States.

It’s an apparent attempt to destroy the Mongols club, or at least greatly weaken it.

Tue
30
Oct
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Harley-Davidson to recall nearly 178K bikes to fix clutches

DETROIT -- Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 178,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because they can get stuck in gear due to a clutch problem.

Documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say clutches can leak fluid internally, making it so the clutch doesn't have enough lift to disengage the bikes from gears. The safety agency says that can cause riders to lose control and increase the risk of a crash.

The Milwaukee-based company says in documents that it has reports of five crashes with no injuries.

Affected models include the 2017 and 2018 Police Road King, Road King, Road King Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Ultra Limited Low, Ultra Limited Shrine, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Road Glide Ultra, Road Glide, Road Glide Special, Freewheeler, Tri Glide Ultra, CVO Limited, and the CVO Street Glide.

Fri
12
Oct
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Judge orders release of man charged with witness tampering in Kauffman trial

MAYS LANDING — An Egg Harbor Township man accused of witness tampering in the April Kauffman murder trial was released from jail Friday for what a judge said was a change in circumstances.

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury said he granted the release of retired Pagans motorcycle club member John “Egyptian” Kachbalian due to the conviction in the murder case and the relocation of the alleged victim. He said he was also aware that Kachbalian’s health was deteriorating rapidly in jail, beyond the care that could be provided in the Atlantic County Jail.

Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Donna Weaver declined to comment regarding his release. 

Kachbalian, 56, was revealed to have a serious heart condition at a previous court appearance.

Kachbalian’s attorneys, Kenneth Young and Stephen Patrizio of Philadelphia, declined to comment after the hearing.

Thu
04
Oct
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Hells Angels ambushed Pagans in Augusta County shooting

STAUNTON - During the early morning hours of Sept. 10 at the Hometown Inn near Greenville, five men — four of them reportedly members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and the other a prospect — were lying in wait after two members of the rival Pagans Motorcycle Club were spotted across the street at the Pilot Travel Center.

Roughly 90 minutes later, as the two Pagans pulled into the motel parking lot on their motorcycles, an ambush was unleashed, based on video evidence shown Thursday in Augusta County Circuit Court.

One of the Pagans was shot, the other knocked off his motorcycle and beaten with a hammer.

Prior to the shooting, which took place shortly before 3 a.m., after the two Pagans were seen at the travel center, one of the motorcycle gang members rousted four others from their rooms at the motel.

Wed
26
Sep
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Hitman revealed in 2012 he killed April Kauffman, nephew says

MAYS LANDING —  During a fishing trip in the summer of 2012, Francis Mulholland pointed to a picture of April Kauffman and told his nephew that he'd killed the radio host and veterans advocate for money, jurors in the murder trial of Ferdinand Augello were told Wednesday.

But Timothy Sarzynski never told authorities until this year after charges were announced.

“We stopped at a Wawa, he brought out a magazine cover and pointed to a picture on it and said he did that,” Sarzynski told the jury during the eighth day of the trial.

Sarzynski identified the person on the cover as April Kauffman. He said he didn't report it because he didn’t believe his uncle, who he said often made up stories.

“He told me he walked into her bedroom, shot her twice in the back of the head and was paid $50,000 to do so,” Sarzynski said. 

Thu
20
Sep
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Motorcycle Cannonball roars into town

(Video) --- About 100 motorcyclists rumbled into Great Falls on Wednesday afternoon all on antique motorcycles for the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball.

The coast-to-coast run began in Portland, Maine on September 8 and plans to finish in Portland, Oregon on September 23. The group arrived in Great Falls around 3 p.m. at Big Sky Harley Davidson where the public was allowed to view the bikes and visit with participants about the journey.

Owner and promoter Jason Sims said the run is a challenge of man versus machine.

“The real objective is to get from point A to point B,” he said.

The Motorcycle Cannonball calls itself the most difficult antique endurance run in the world. The riders are expected to reach a destination within a set time limit and face penalties for missed miles or late arrivals.

Tue
11
Sep
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Defense questions payments to Pagan-turned-informant in Kauffman case

A key witness in the case against Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello has been paid about $2,000 a month by the state, according to information released in court Monday.
Augello is going on trial for murder and racketeering the 2012 killing of radio host April Kauffman and for an opioid ring he allegedly led with her now-dead husband, Dr. James Kauffman.
Dr. Kauffman allegedly partnered with alleged Pagans Motorcycle Club leader Augello in a scheme that had a group selling Oxycontin the doctor wrote scripts for.
What helped finally break the case was cooperation by Andrew Glick, a former Pagan who used what he allegedly knew about the Kauffman-Pagan partnership to get himself out of trouble after he was arrested last November on weapons and drug charges.

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