marts 09, 2018

New Jersey bikers opted out of expanding to Canada, U.S. court hears

Leaders of the Pagans Motorcycle Club in the northeastern United States thought long and hard earlier this decade about expanding into Canada to support enemies of the Hells Angels in Quebec.

Canada’s nice guy image doesn’t extend to the world of outlaw bikers.
That’s the view of Andrew (Chef) Glick, 52, a longtime American bike gang leader who’s now a key prosecution witness in an upcoming murder-for-hire trial in New Jersey that’s centred around the illegal opioid trade, including fentanyl. Leaders of the Pagans Motorcycle Club in the northeastern United States thought long and hard earlier this decade about expanding into Canada to support enemies of the Hells Angels in Quebec, Glick said.

The Pagans ultimately backed off on the idea of expanding north. A big part of the reason was that Canadian Hells Angels are considered particularly violent members of the outlaw biker – or “one percenter” – world, Glick said in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location.
(One per center is a biker term for the small group of motorcyclists who choose to live outside of the law).
“In Canada and Australia, that’s where the heaviest (toughest) one per centers are,” Glick said. “Being a one per center in Canada, I would say is a little more dangerous than being a one per center in the U.S.”

New Jersey bikers are tough, but “not near as violent as what I’ve seen and read (about) in Montreal and Toronto,” Glick said. That said, American Pagans revel in a rough image. One of the club’s mottos is: “There’s nothing a pickaxe can’t solve” and members wear patches on their vests stating, “Very Bad Attitude.” For his part, Glick got his nickname, “Chef,” because he worked in the kitchen at a casino and retirement home.
Aside from the rough reputation of Canadian bikers, Canada’s anti-gang laws also made American members pause when thinking of expanding north, Glick said. Canadian law gives court the power to impose up to 14 additional years in prison on anyone who commits a serious crime “for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization.”

There are currently about 300 members of the Pagans in the northeastern United States, where they are sometimes bitter rivals of the Hells Angels. One of the top Pagans was pushing the expansion idea because it would make them an international club instead of just an American one, Glick said.
“He was talking heavily,” Glick said. “I heard it was really close.”

Glick alternately served as president and vice president of the Cape May County, New Jersey chapter of the Pagans until last November, when he agreed to cooperate with authorities in a high-profile murder-for-hire and opioid trafficking case and avoid a possible 40-year prison term.

Glick said he isn’t proud of his decision to testify against his former clubmates in an upcoming case centred around the murder of radio show host April Kauffman, who was shot dead on May 10, 2012 in the 7,000 square foot mansion in Linwood, N.J. she shared with her physician husband.
“I preached never to do this (cooperate with authorities) but I never thought I’d be looking at 40 years,” Glick said. “It would basically be life for me.”
“I was looking at 40 years for weapons and drugs,” Glick said.

The FBI alleges that April Kauffman’s murder was arranged by her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, a physician in Egg Harbour Township, N.J., and members of the Pagan’s, including Glick’s former buddy Ferdinand (Freddy) Augello, former president of the local Pagans chapter.

She was targeted for murder because she threatened to tell authorities how her husband and members of the Pagans were involved in a massive opioid trafficking ring, authorities say. Her threats came in the midst of an ugly divorce from the doctor, Glick said.

Glick was one of a dozen Pagans and associates who authorities say received prescriptions of OxyContin and other opioids including fentanyl from Dr. Kauffman, which they sold on the illegal market.

The doctor charged the bikers and their associates a fee of between $100 and $500 per prescription between 2011 and 2017, Glick said. Dr. Kauffman was ultimately charged on Jan. 9, 2018 with arranging his wife’s murder. Authorities said he hanged himself in Hudson County Jail after hearing that Pagans members had arranged for him to be killed in custody for threatening to cooperate with the prosecution.

Francis Mulholland, the alleged hitman in the April Kauffman murder, died of a heroin overdose in 2013.
Several members of the club, including Augello, are in custody on charges for arranging the April Kauffman murder and opioid trafficking. Glick said he was always against killing her.
“The doc kept complaining, ‘Why is it taking so long?,’” Glick said. “I said, ‘We’re working on it.

It’s not like there is a store where we can go to hire hitmen to kill women.’” Glick said that Dr. Kauffman expanded his illegal opioid operation after his wife’s murder five years ago.
“He was a narcissistic guy,” Glick said. “Arrogant. I guess he thought if he could get away with murder, he could get away with anything.”

April Kauffman was the host of a local radio show that advocated veteran’s rights. That made her popular with several members of the Pagan’s who have military backgrounds, Glick said.
“Half of my chapter comes from the army or the marines,” Glick said.

Glick said he’s concerned for his safety as the trial of his former clubmates approaches.
“I’m not going to ride my motorcycle down the road here,” he said.
“I walk around and I look over my shoulder. I don’t go out a whole lot.”


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