What to Know
- High-ranking members of the outlaw Pagans Motorcycle Club, including those in New Jersey chapters, were indicted on various crimes, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
- Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Rachael A. Honig announced two additional indictments, bringing the total of Pagans members facing crimes to 11 -- although the number may increase as the investigation continues.
- Many of the accused hold national, regional, and local leadership positions in the Pagans Motorcycle Club, prosecutors say.
High-ranking members of the outlaw Pagans Motorcycle Club, including those in New Jersey chapters, were indicted on various crimes, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Rachael Honig announced two additional indictments, bringing the total of Pagans members facing crimes to 11 -- although the number may increase as the investigation continues.
"The Pagans are an outlaw motorcycle gang and in the charges that we announced today, as well as in the charges that we brought over the past 11 months, we identify the Pagans as a racketeering enterprise that engages in various forms of illegal activity, including narcotics trafficking, weapons possession and trafficking, and violent crime," Honig said during a Monday press conference announcing the latest indictments.
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Luis Arocho, aka “LuRoc,” 43, of Keansburg, and Maurice Guzman, aka “Dawg,” 51, of Newark, were arrested Monday and charged by complaint with one count of aggravated assault in aid of racketeering. These charges relate to an alleged April 2018 encounter during which they beat an associate of the Hells Angels, a rival motorcycle club, and the victim sustained serious injuries, including fractured ribs.
Guzman is the President of Presidents of the New Jersey chapter, according to prosecutors. Both Arocho and Guzman face 20 years in prison if convicted.
Attorney information for the two was not immediately known.
Also on Monday, a federal grand jury returned indictments charging Nicholas Bucciarelli with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. These charges, according to Honig, are in connection to a separate gang-related assault in which Bucciarelli retaliated against another member of the Pagans for breaking the organization’s rules.
Bucciarelli, who is the sergeant at arms of the Camden County Chapter, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the brandishing a firearm charge.
Attorney information for Bucciarelli was not immediately known.
“And with these charges we have now brought criminal charges against a total of 11 defendants, involving various assaults, weapons possession and drug trafficking charges that relate to their membership and in many cases leadership of the Pagans," Honig said.
Significantly, many of the accused hold national, regional, and local leadership positions in the Pagans Motorcycle Club. According to Honig, "that includes the national president, a member of the Pagans Mother Club, which is a national organization that oversees its operations, the president of presidents in New Jersey, the presidents of the Jersey City and Gloucester County chapters of the Pagans, the vice-president of the Elizabeth chapter and the sergeant at arms, or the enforcer, for various other chapters."
Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay Ruotolo thanked the agencies that collaborated during the investigation, saying they have the "gratitude of communities impacted and made safer."