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Investigators: Outlaw biker gang growing at alarming rate

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A violent biker gang that is involved in illegal drug trafficking and considers women to be "below dogs" is growing in New Jersey at an alarming rate, state investigators said Wednesday at a public hearing.

Pagan's Motorcycle Club, or the Pagans, which now has about 300 members statewide and roughly 900 countrywide, has grown from 10 to at least 17 chapters in New Jersey since 2016 and is aiming at becoming dominant along the East Coast, according to testimony from the State Commission on Investigation.

The commission outlined detailed allegations against the gang — including showing surveillance video depicting an attack on a rival biker gang member at a gas station in full daylight — during a more than two-hour public hearing.

Investigators said the gang is involved in illegal drug trafficking, particularly of meth, as well as extortion of local businesses.

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Pagan indicted for attempted murder in hit-run of fellow member

A Upper Township man accused of running down a motorcyclist in his truck and then speeding away has been indicted for attempted murder.
Noah Frost allegedly told police that the damage to his white Dodge Ram’s must have happened while it was parked in the Harrah’s Atlantic City parking garage.
But an investigation found that Frost was involved in the hit-and-run, which witnesses said was the result of what appeared to be a road rage incident.
Both men are members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner previously said. But it was not clear what caused an issue between the two.
The victim, identified in the indictment as Benjamin DiPilla, was critically injured in the crash.

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A Pagan’s biker called ‘Hellboy’ beat a Hells Angels with a baseball bat. He’s headed to prison for 4 years.

A member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, who goes by the street name “Hellboy,” was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for the brutal beating of a Hells Angels associate at a Newark gas station in 2018.

Robert DeRonde, 55, of Rahway, had pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault for beating the victim, Jeffrey Shank, with a baseball bat at the Exxon station on Elizabeth Avenue on April 24, 2018. Shank suffered multiple broken collar bones as a result of the beating, prosecutors said.

According to the criminal complaint, Shank had just left the Hells Angels’ clubhouse on Clinton Avenue when he stopped for gas. As Shank waited to get his gas pumped, three men pulled up to the gas station and assaulted him.

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Upper Township man allegedly ran down biker, then fled scene

An Upper Township man is jailed for attempted murder after a motorcyclist was critically injured in an apparent hit and run.
The victim is in critical condition.
Police received multiple 911 calls at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, reporting that a possible road rage incident led to a crash involving a motorcycle, according to the affidavit obtained by BreakingAC.
A white Dodge Ram pickup fled the scene, witnesses said.
Officer Brian Miller saw a white Dodge Ram with minor damage to the front bumper stopped in traffic on Mays Landing-Somers Point Road near Old River Road, the report states.
When Miller stopped the truck, driver Noah Frost said he knew nothing about the damage and that the truck was probably struck while parked in the Harrah’s Atlantic City parking garage, according to the affidavit .

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EHT man pleads guilty to witness tampering

MAYS LANDING — An Egg Harbor Township man linked to the April Kauffman murder trial may face a year less one day in prison after pleading guilty to witness tampering, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced Friday. 

John Kachbalian, 55, exchanged his plea for a recommended sentence of probation conditioned upon a 364-day sentence in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, a statement said.

Kachbalian, a retired Pagans motorcycle club member known as "Egyptian," was arrested Aug. 30, 2018, following an investigation by the Prosecutor's Office Major Crime Unit and a search warrant executed at his Spray Avenue home. He was charged with witness tampering, invasion of privacy and cyberharassment after posting on social media a seminude photo of one of the witnesses, purported to be Beverly Augello, and calling her a “lying rat," as previously reported by The Press.

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Hells Angels, Pagans: Police, SWAT Team Break Up Brewing Brawl At Rochelle Park Cycle Shop

Police from several towns defused a potential brawl between groups of Hells Angels and Pagans at the Bergen Harley Davidson store in Rochelle Park -- and expect more trouble in the future.

A Hells Angels member was buying a motorcycle at the Essex Street shop on Saturday when a Pagan reportedly told him "this is Pagan territory," according to Rochelle Park police.

They began to argue, after which several members of each gang showed up "to support their member," according to a police report.

"The situation was de-escalated by a large police presence," the report said.

Rochelle Park police thanked their colleagues from Lodi, Maywood, Saddle Brook, the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and the Bergen County Regional SWAT team, who all responded.

"Intelligence obtained after the incident indicates tensions between the two motorcycle gangs [are] going to escalate," they added.

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Pagans biker sped away from Newark cops after firing gun, police say

A North Bergen man wearing Pagans Motorcycle Club clothing was arrested in Newark early Wednesday after he was spotted firing a gun, police said.

Larry M. Ortiz, 28, also tried to escape police by speeding away from officers on his motorcycle, but eventually crashed in Elizabeth, Newark police said in a statement.

Newark police responded to the 100 block of Sherman Avenue around 12:30 a.m. after officers were alerted by the city's gunshot detector system, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said.

Officers saw a man on a motorcycle drive away from the scene, and witnesses told the officers that a man on a motorcycle fired a gun on Miller and Vanderpool streets, which run parallel, police said.

No injuries were reported to police.

Officers then located a man on Frelinghuysen Avenue and Empire Street who fit a description given to them. Police said the man ignored the officers' demands to pull over.

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Did prosecutor hide evidence in Pagans' murder case? 3 staffers say he may have

Three long-time staff members in the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office have come forward to accuse their boss, Prosecutor Damon Tyner, of possibly hiding evidence in a high-profile murder case. 

The employees -- one current and two former staffers -- claim in an explosive letter that Tyner failed to disclose information that potentially could have helped the suspect's defense "so as not to damage the prosecution of the case."

Ferdinand "Freddy" Augello, the Cape May County chapter president of the Pagans, was found guilty last week of conspiring to murder well-known radio host April Kauffman in 2012. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 5. 

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Jury convicts Pagan biker of plotting radio host's murder-for-hire, running pill ring

A former chapter president of the Pagans Motorcycle Club was found guilty Tuesday of plotting a woman's murder and attempting to have her husband killed in jail to cover up a drug ring the woman was threatening to expose.

A jury found Ferdinand Augello guilty in Superior Court in Mays Landing, after a trial that lasted just more than two weeks, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced. The attorneys in the case had made closing statements Tuesday morning.

After hearing the verdict, Augello faced the media sitting on the opposite of the courtroom. He denied his role in the crimes and said "I'll be back."

One of his attorneys, Mary Linehan, later told Breaking AC that they would appeal the decision.

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Augello tapes weave tale of Mexican cartel, plot to kill Kauffman

MAYS LANDING — At the state’s behest, Andrew Glick told his friend and fellow Pagans motorcycle club member Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello that a Mexican drug cartel was willing to take out James Kauffman in jail to avoid losing one of their best clients.

Glick took the stand again during the third day of the April Kauffman murder trial Wednesday.

In several secretly recorded conversations with Augello — the only man left alive charged in the May 10, 2012, murder of April Kauffman — Glick tells Augello he has someone who will poison the doctor’s commissary and the two discuss when and how it would happen.

“I brought it up that I had been approached by the people that I had been in business with ... that they had offered their assistance,” Glick told Atlantic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy.