Mon
23
Jul
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R.I. police pull over 100 motorcycle club members, but issue no citations

HOPKINTON, R.I. — What happens when police officers from three departments pull over about 100 members of a motorcycle club on an interstate highway? Well, sometimes nothing.

Such was the case Saturday afternoon when Rhode Island State Police, assisted by officers from Hopkinton and Connecticut, pulled over about 100 members of the Pagans motorcycle club on Route 95 shortly after they had crossed into Rhode Island.

Laura Meade Kirk, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island State Police, said the motorcyclists were pulled over about 1:30 p.m. Saturday as part of an “investigatory stop.”

But the stop turned up not a single violation nor culminated in a single arrest, she said, and the bikers continued on their way to a club rally in Fall River.

Wed
18
Jul
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Tazewell County businessman indicted in two states

Troubles continue to mount for a Tazewell County businessman.

Larry Wayne Price Jr., (aka “LJ’) 38, of Bluefield, is facing multiple federal felony indictments in two states. He was indicted on three counts of making false statements to the FBI by a grand jury in Abingdon May 22 and on six counts of wire fraud by a Billings Montana federal grand jury June 21.

The indictments in Montana were sealed until July 2 after an arrest warrant was executed for him.

The Montana indictments also contain forfeiture allegations against any real estate or personal property held by Price that it can be proven was purchased with proceeds from the crimes. The order would also allow the government to seize other property if assets derived from the alleged fraud could not be located, have been diminished in value, sold, or comingled with other property that cannot be divided.

Tue
17
Jul
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Authorities tapped phone of leader of biker gang

Court affidavit outlines Deric “Tuna” McGuire’s rise to head of Pagans motorcycle club.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For almost a year, state and federal agents wiretapped the many different telephones used by a Burrillville man, capturing, they say, his recruitment to lead a new Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans outlaw motorcycle gang and documenting his illegal drug enterprise.

Hundreds of transcribed pages of recorded conversations between Deric “Tuna” McGuire and his associates were unsealed Tuesday as part of the state police’s Operation Patched Out investigation, which in May led to more than 50 people arrested.

The recorded conversations are part of a 1,274-page affidavit that supported dozens of searches of homes, cars and motorcycles when scores of agents swept across northern Rhode Island making arrests.

Tue
03
Jul
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Additional drug, gun charges against Pagan’s MC member

A convicted felon and Pagan’s motorcycle gang member in jail on drug charges had additional drug and firearm charges added this week.

Michael Lee Phelps, 51, of Hannah Court Jacksonville, was charged Monday by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon and manufacturing methamphetamine, according to warrants.

Phelps was first arrested June 19 as part of a drug investigation and charged with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by possession, trafficking methamphetamine by manufacture, trafficking hydrocodone by possession, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, The Daily News previously reported.

Detectives searched Phelps’ residence and allegedly found 214.6 grams of crystal meth, 8.3 grams of hydrocodone, $4,253 in cash and five firearms, according to previous reports.

Fri
22
Jun
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Scoop: Coming Up on 20/20 on ABC - Today, June 22, 2018

"20/20" reports on Kim Pack's five-year-long fight for justice after her mother, New Jersey radio host April Kauffman, was allegedly murdered by a hitman hired by her husband, Dr. James "Jim" Kauffman. Jim was charged with the murder of April and with allegedly running an illegal drug distribution ring with members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club. Jim's charges came after prosecutor Damon Tyner, appointed to his position in 2017, dug into the cold case of April's murder. ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts interviews Kim and Tyner and reports on the alleged double life that Jim was leading. "20/20" airs Friday, June 22 (10:01 - 11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.

Tue
19
Jun
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200 grams crystal meth seized during drug arrest

A convicted felon and Pagan’s East Coast motorcycle club member was arrested and charged with selling meth Monday.

A Midway Park Pagan’s East Coast motorcycle club member remains in jail after being accused of possessing of over 200 grams of crystal meth, among other charges.

Michael Lee Phelps, 51, of Hannah Court, was charged Monday by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by possession, trafficking methamphetamine by manufacture, trafficking hydrocodone by possession, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an OCSO news release, information about Phelps allegedly selling meth from his home in Midway Park was obtained during an investigation with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office.

Thu
14
Jun
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Conviction upheld for one-time leader of Pagans, Hempfield resident

In a 6-to-2 ruling Thursday, state Superior Court reversed a prior appellate court panel's decision and upheld the 2014 conviction of a former head of the Pagans motorcycle club from Westmoreland County on multiple drug charges.

 

A three-member panel in December 2016 had granted Dennis “Rooster” Katona, 52, of Hempfield, a new trial in Westmoreland County citing problems with the validity of the search warrant used in the years-long investigation.

 

The court previously ruled that police cannot use a single search warrant to repeatedly send a wired informant into someone's home. As stipulated in previous court rulings, “a separate finding of probable cause was required for each in-home intercept,” the court had stated in a 2-1 decison.

 

Mon
11
Jun
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Threats, spit prompt charges for alleged biker gang member

WILKES-BARRE — An intoxicated member of a biker gang threatened his father with a meat tenderizer and spit on police officers as they arrested him Sunday night, according to police.

Justin Martin, 30, of Rear 291 Parrish St., repeatedly threatened officers and warned he would see them again when they didn’t have their badges on, police said.

Officers responded to Martin’s home around 10:25 p.m. Sunday to a report of a fight between Martin and his father, Frank Maloney Sr., who told police Martin was out of control and needed to be arrested.

Another man, Frank Maloney Jr., told police Martin asked him for marijuana or cocaine. When Maloney Jr. told Martin to sober up, Martin began slapping him repeatedly, police said.

Maloney Jr. also reported that Martin threatened kill him and that he would “get my boys after you” — a reference to his membership in the Pagans Motorcycle Club, according to police.

Thu
07
Jun
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Augello attorney seeking Kauffman suicide note, informant | Kauffman Case

MAYS LANDING — A lawyer for the man charged with murder in the 2012 killing of April Kauffman requested Dr. James Kauffman's suicide note as well as the confidential informant in the case.

Alleged Pagans motorcycle gang leader Ferdinand "Freddy" Augello, 62, of Upper Township, appeared before Judge Bernard DeLury on Thursday for a status conference in Atlantic County Superior Court. 

“One of our primary issues or concerns right now is obtaining Dr. Kauffman’s suicide note,” public defender Mary Linehan said, adding the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has said it does not have the note and that the Hudson County jail’s position is that its investigation is still open.

“We’ll also be filing a motion to reveal a confidential informant,” she said. “Although this is public information that is already out there. It’s been in the media as well.”

Wed
23
May
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49 arrested as state police target R.I. biker gangs

(photo gallery and documents)---WOONSOCKET, R.I. — A year-long investigation by the Rhode Island State Police culminated Wednesday with more than 150 investigators swarming through northwestern Rhode Island seizing guns, drugs and arresting 49 people, many of them associated with motorcycle clubs that authorities feared were trying to establish turf in Rhode Island.

The arrests were made in a coordinated series of pre-dawn raids that involved the use of explosive devices to breach heavily fortified building, an armored truck and battering ram to break down doors; and dozens of heavily armed SWAT team members and other officers, according to State Police Supt. Col. Ann C. Assumpico.

She said the raids were conducted without incident.

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