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FULL press release from US Attorneys Office:

NEWARK, N.J. – A Suffolk County, New York admitted today to illegally possessing a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Keith Richter, a/k/a “Conan,” 62, of Bay Shore, New York, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an Information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Richter is the national president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club (the “Pagans”)—an outlaw motorcycle gang known by law enforcement to engage in illegal activity including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes. 

On or about February 20, 2021, the Pagans hosted a party in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  While Richter was traveling from the party to his home in Suffolk County, New York, law enforcement pulled the vehicle over in Mercer County, New Jersey.  Law enforcement recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from a front-seat compartment in the vehicle.  As a result, law enforcement obtained a warrant for Richter’s arrest, which was executed on February 26, 2021. 

Richter was previously convicted of felony offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, for which he served a sixteen-year term of imprisonment.

The offense to which Richter pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3. 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Toby C. Taylor; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Timothy D. Sini; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of William A. Daniel; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Frazer, R. Joseph Gribko, and Samantha C. Fasanello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

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Defense counsel:  James R. Froccaro, Jr., Esq., Port Washington, New York

Original Story:

UPDATE: A national leader of the Pagans Motorcycle Club is expected to plead guilty. That’s according to a report by NJ.com. “The former national president of the Pagan’s motorcycle club, who led the organization’s aggressive expansion across New Jersey and elsewhere, is set to plead guilty to a federal charge, ” the newspaper reports.

Here’s the full press release from the DOJ on the charges he’s facing.

NEWARK, N.J. – A Suffolk County, New York, man was arrested today for illegally possessing a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Keith Richter, aka “Conan,” 62, of Bay Shore, New York, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Richter is the national president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, an outlaw motorcycle gang known by law enforcement to engage in illegal activity, including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes. 

On Feb. 20, 2021, the Pagans hosted a party in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While Richter was traveling home from the party late at night, he was stopped by law enforcement officers in Mercer County, New Jersey. Officers recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from the vehicle. 

Richter was previously convicted of felony offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, for which he served 16 years in prison.

The count of being a felon in possession of a weapon carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson in Newark; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Timothy D. Sini; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to these charges.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Frazer, R. Joseph Gribko, and Samantha C. Fasanello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Original Story:

New Jersey (BIKER DAD)- Pagans members arrested, including two of the top dogs. It happened during an ongoing investigation that law enforcement says will deal a “significant blow to the Pagans motorcycle gang.” The latest charges stem from a brutal baseball beatdown. Members of the Pagans are seen beating a Hells Angel at a gas pump.

Full unedited release:

NEWARK, N.J. – Two high-ranking members of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club were arrested today for assault in aid of racketeering, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced. 

Luis Arocho, aka “LuRoc,” 43, of Keansburg, New Jersey, and Maurice Guzman, aka “Dawg,” 51, of Newark, are charged by complaint with one count of aggravated assault in aid of racketeering. They are scheduled to appear by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre. 

“Today’s arrests are the latest in a long-running investigation into the illegal activities of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club,” Acting U.S. Attorney Honig said. “We have now charged 11 members of this outlaw gang with various weapons, drug-trafficking and violent crimes. Together with our federal, state, and local partners, we remain fully committed to combating violent crime in New Jersey and prosecuting the members of the criminal organizations who are responsible for it.”    

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The Investigation

“This investigation has dealt a significant blow to the Pagans motorcycle gang,” Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Jersey Division Susan A. Gibson said. “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 when the combined forces of DEA, ATF, New Jersey State Police and Union County detectives come after you. These arrests made New Jersey safer and this investigation demonstrated the determination of DEA and our amazing partners to pursue the most violent criminal gangs who choose to violate the law.”

“I can say without question that our collective efforts have disrupted and dismantled the daily illegal activities of the Pagans outlaw motorcycle gang, by strategically removing their most violent and most egregious firearm and drug trafficking members and associates,” ATF Newark Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Toby C. Taylor said. “This collaborative investigation will undoubtedly make communities safer throughout our state and beyond.”

Scale of the investigation

“The success and scale of this investigation is a testament to the impact a collaboration between law enforcement agencies can have on the safety and security of our communities,” Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of investigators and prosecutors in this long-term effort, which occurred during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, dangerous actors, along with mass quantities of narcotics and firearms, have been removed from our streets.”

“Long-term operations of this magnitude require a tremendous amount of work and patience by cooperating detectives, and while the full scope and impact of this investigation may yet be fully realized, its success continues a year after it began,” Col. Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said. “I commend the hard work and dedication of all the agencies involved. Their efforts have led to the arrests of violent offenders and the seizure of weapons and drugs, which has undoubtedly made our communities safer.”

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Inside the court documents

According to documents filed in these cases and statements made in court:

On April 24, 2018, Arocho, Guzman, and other associates of the Pagans assaulted an associate of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club at a gas station in Newark. The Pagans and the Hells Angels have a long-standing rivalry. The victim was beaten with an axe handle, punched, and kicked by the Pagans assailants, resulting in significant injuries. Both Arocho and Guzman are high-ranking leaders in the Pagans’ organization. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig also announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging Nicholas Bucciarelli, aka “Booch,” 56, of Brooklawn, New Jersey, with aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon, arising from his commission of a gang-related gunpoint assault in which an associate of the Pagans was assaulted for breaking the organization’s rules. Nicholas Marino, aka “Lefty,” 75, of Williamstown, New Jersey, Anthony D’Alessandro, aka “Fugit,” 55, of Williamstown, New Jersey, and Michael Dorazo, aka “Cage,” 42, of Gloucester City, New Jersey, were previously charged by federal criminal complaint for their roles in the assault. At the time of their arrests, Bucciarelli was the sergeant at arms for the Pagans’ Camden County membership chapter, Marino and D’Alessandro served as the president and sergeant at arms, respectively, for the Pagans’ Gloucester County membership chapter, and Dorazo was a member of the Pagans. Bucciarelli was also indicted for distributing five grams or more of methamphetamine.

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Multi-agency investigation

These charges were filed as part of a multi-agency investigation into the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club – an outlaw motorcycle gang known to engage in illegal activity, including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes. The Pagans have established membership chapters in numerous states and U.S. territories, including multiple active chapters in New Jersey. This investigation involved court-authorized wiretaps, the use of multiple undercover law enforcement agents, and execution of multiple search warrants at physical locations in multiple jurisdictions. Through the investigation, law enforcement seized 10 firearms and more than 800 grams of methamphetamine. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office previously announced the arrest of Keith Richter, aka “Conan” – the national president of the Pagans – in connection with his illegal possession of a firearm on Feb. 20, 2021. Those charges remain pending.

Law enforcement officials also previously arrested the following individuals in connection with the investigation. (Each of the defendants is charged by federal criminal complaint; the specific charges and corresponding penalties are listed in the chart below.)

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The suspects

Larry Ortiz, aka “Savage,” 31, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Junius Aquino, aka “Jayo,” 38, of Vauxhall, New Jersey, were charged with aggravated assault in aid of racketeering and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence for their roles in a gang-related shooting. On Oct. 28, 2020, Ortiz and Aquino shot at an associate of a rival gang while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. The shooting was committed as part of an ongoing dispute between the Pagans and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Aquino was also charged in a separate criminal complaint with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon in connection with a shooting that occurred three days later. On Oct. 31, 2020, Aquino shot at an occupied vehicle in Elizabeth. Law enforcement officers recovered seven .40 caliber shell casings from the shooting scene. On Nov. 5, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Aquino’s residence and recovered, among other items, multiple .40 caliber rounds of ammunition and approximately 50 grams of cocaine. After law enforcement officers recovered the cocaine from Aquino’s residence, Aquino was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. At the time of Aquino’s arrest, he was the vice president of the Pagans’ Elizabeth membership chapter. 

Ortiz was also charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On Nov. 17, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ortiz’s residence and recovered approximately 300 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded firearm. At the time of his arrest, Ortiz was the president of the Pagans’ Jersey City membership chapter.

Daniel Hooban, aka “Jersey,” 33, of Bayonne, New Jersey, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On June 29, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hooban’s residence and recovered approximately 30 grams of cocaine and a loaded firearm. At the time of Hooban’s arrest, he was the sergeant at arms for the Pagans’ Jersey City membership chapter.

Glen Turner, aka “Glenny,” 73, of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, was charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Turner is a long-time member of the Pagans. On Dec. 10, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Turner’s residence and recovered approximately 450 grams of methamphetamine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited a joint task force comprised of special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gibson; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Taylor; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Ruotolo; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Callahan, with the investigation leading to these charges.

The team that brought them down

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos Jr.; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Timothy D. Sini; the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Chief Giacomo Sacca; special agents of the FBI Cherry Hill Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll in Philadelphia; and the West Deptford Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Chambers, for their assistance with this investigation.

These cases are part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Frazer, R. Joseph Gribko, and Samantha C. Fasanello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaints and indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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