The Pagan’s Motorcycle Club was never the biggest outlaw motorcycle club in the nation, but members liked to think that, pound-for-pound, none was tougher.
Three Pagans, one former member said, could “do anything,” and if there are more, well, that’s even better, or worse for whoever is in their way.
“You give me six good Pagans and I could take over the country,” said James “Jimmy D” DeGregorio, a former high-ranking member of the Pagans in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area.
“They are a hard-core gang. Period. Small but mighty.”
The PMC, founded in Maryland in 1959, was back in the news last week at the Jersey Shore for the usual reasons: accusations of drug dealing, murder plots, and an old, familiar problem that’s plagued the group for decades: undercover agents and confidential informants recording them.
“It’s insane,” DeGregorio said. “It always happens. There ain’t a cop in the world that didn’t bust a case without someone on the inside. The thing that makes a good detective is a good snitch.”
DeGregorio spent time in prison for shooting a bodyguard for late Philadelphia mob boss Phil “Chicken Man” Testa. He has also testified against PMC members. Now he lives in Florida.
The Pagans’ latest brush with the law involves an unlikely accomplice, Dr. James Kauffman, an endocrinologist accused of running a vast, prescription-drug ring out of his Egg Harbor Township office with the club’s help. Authorities say Kauffman, with the Pagans’ aid, arranged the murder of his wife, April, in May 2012, out of fear she would expose the enterprise.
Those same Pagans who helped Kauffman, authorities said, plotted to kill him in the Atlantic County jail after he was arrested on weapons charges this past June. The top Pagan implicated in the Kauffman case, Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello, cuts a clean appearance, at least on Facebook, where many Pagans flaunt their affiliations. There are no pictures of motorcycles, or Augello wearing the Pagans’ “colors,” the patches they wear on denim vests with an image of the Norse god Surtr sewn on.