Two high-ranking members of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club were indicted Friday on drug and assault charges following a confrontation with the rival Hell’s Angels, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said.
Prosecutors said that on Oct. 21, 2020, several members of the Pagan’s visited a bar in Verona. When they exited, “a group of individuals approached and assaulted them with baseball bats,” prosecutors say. “Approximately one week later [two Pagan’s members allegedly] shot at an associate of the Hells Angels on the New Jersey Turnpike in retaliation for the Verona assault. The Pagan’s and the Hells Angels are known to be rival gangs.”
As a result of that incident Larry Ortiz, 31, of Elizabeth, and Junius Aquino, 38, of Vauxhall, were indicted for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in connection with their alleged roles in the shooting, prosecutors say.
Aquino was also charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and Ortiz was also charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, prosecutors say.
These charges were filed as part of a multi-agency investigation into the Pagan’s, prosecutors said. Through the investigation, law enforcement seized 10 firearms and more than 800 grams of methamphetamine, prosecutors said.