More than a dozen members of the Pagan motorcycle gang - with nicknames like 'Roadblock', "Hogman," and Hellboy" - were arrested Wednesday on charges ranging from murder and drug conspiracy to racketeering, law enforcement officials said.
The raids took place across four states and involved more than 300 ATF agents as well as local police including Suffolk County and New York State police investigators. The Pagans are categorized as an outlaw motorcycle gang by the FBI.
At one home in Holbrook, the bomb squad was called because during one search police found what is believed to be a small improvised explosive device.
In all, 18 people are charged. Investigators said there were searches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well. All of the suspects are expected to appear in federal court in Central Islip later Wednesday.
Among those charged, John Richard Ebeling, JR known as 'JR"; Jason "Roadblock" Blair, Kenneth 'Hogman" Van Diver, and Robert "Hellboy" Deronde. Investigators said they siezed dozens of guns, thousands in cash, drugs and other evidence in the coordinated raids.
Charges are filed in federal court in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Spokesmen for U.S. attorneys Preet Bharara and Loretta Lynch said the gang members also plotted to kill rivals associated with the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang.
According to researchers at the University of Maryland, the Pagan gang has frequently been accused of producing and smuggling drugs such as methamphetemine, marijuana, cocaine and PCP and allegedly has ties to organized crime, especially in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.