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[Crackdown 3]3 alleged members of Pagan’s motorcycle club charged by feds in ongoing crackdown

2021-7-19 source:Latest web game Tag:
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  Federal authorities have now charged 11 alleged members of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club over the last year, as they aggressively investigate the outlaw club that is allegedly involved in a wide-range of criminal activity and rapidly expanding throughout New Jersey.

  The U.S. Attorney’s Office of New Jersey announced Monday that two alleged high-ranking members were charged for a 2018 beating of a member of a rival motorcycle gang and that a grand jury returned an indictment against an alleged member for commissioning a gang-related gunpoint assault in which an associate of the Pagans was beaten for breaking the organization’s rules.

  Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said at a press conference that the organization is a “racketeering enterprise that is involved in various forms of illegal activity,” including drugs and weapon trafficking, as well as other violent crimes throughout New Jersey.

  “This investigation has dealt a significant blow to the Pagans motorcycle gang,” said Susan A. Gibson, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New Jersey division. “The use of violence, weapons, and intimidation was standard for this criminal organization, and law enforcement made it clear that their behavior would not be tolerated. It is a bad day for the Pagans.”

  The newest charges are against Luis Arocho, also known as “LuRoc,” 43, of Keansburg, and Maurice Guzman, also known as “Dawg,” 51, of Newark, who are are charged by complaint with aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, stemming from an April 2018 incident in which they allegedly assaulted a member of the Hells Angels, a rival motorcycle club, at a gas station in Newark.

  The victim was beaten with an axe handle, punched, and kicked by the Pagans assailants, resulting in significant injuries, including broken ribs, authorities said.

  Arocho and Guzman were both released on a $100,000 unsecured appearance bond after making their initial appearance in federal court Monday afternoon.

  The indictment returned was against Nicholas Bucciarelli, also known as “Booch,” 56, of Brooklawn, on charges of aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, possession of firearms by a convicted felon and distributing five grams or more of methamphetamine.

  According to the charging documents, Bucciarelli led the beating of a man last August in Gloucester County after the man made an “unauthorized” sale of firearms owned by the motorcycle club. He allegedly beat the man with an axe handle and pointed a handgun at the victim’s head. Three other alleged members of the Pagans have previously been charged for their role in the assault.

  During their investigation, federal authorities, who have been working with local and state law enforcement agencies, have been dismantling leadership of the Pagans, bringing charges against national and local leaders of the club.

  In February, Keith Richter, who federal authorities allege is the national president of the Pagans, was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after a a loaded Ruger P345 .45-caliber handgun was found in a vehicle he was in after a Pagans party in Pennsylvania. He remains detained pending the outcome of the case.

  Pagans SCI hearing

  Suspected Pagan Motorcycle Club member Luis Arocho (far right) appeared at a New Jersey State Commission of Investigation hearing about the outlaw club in 2019. On Monday, he was charged for his role in the beating of a rival motorcycle club member in 2018.Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

  Arocho and Guzman, who were charged Monday, were described by authorities as “high-ranking leaders in the Pagans’ organization.” Bucciarelli, who was indicted, is reportedly the sergeant at arms for the Pagans’ Camden County membership chapter, authorities said.

  Honig declined to comment on how the motorcycle club has been expanding in recent years, though last year the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation (SCI) issued a 20-page report detailing how the Pagans have doubled in size in New Jersey, with more than 200 members spread across 17 chapters in the state.

  The motorcycle club, which was established in 1959 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, has long had a presence in South Jersey, but in recent years, authorities have warned of a “violent” expansion by the Pagans into North Jersey.

  “It’s expanding at a rate we’ve never seen before,” Edwin Torres, an SCI investigative agent, said at an open hearing in 2019. “In New Jersey, it’s going to be hard to find a county where there isn’t a Pagan presence.”

  The SCI report warned that the growth of the biker gang could lead to more violent clashes with innocent people.

  “Any organization of any size that engages in violent crime and drug trafficking, weapons possession and weapons trafficking is of concern to us in New Jersey,” Honig said.

  This story has been updated after two of the defendants appeared in federal court Monday afternoon.

  Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

  Joe Atmonavage may be reached at jatmonavage@njadvancemedia.com.

  Have a tip? Tell us: nj.com/tips.

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