A biker gang so vicious that one member removed his own artificial leg to beat a man senseless with the limb is aggressively expanding its turf in the Big Apple, warns a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent who infiltrated the group.
“Pagans are riding the streets of New York City today, flying their colors,” ex-ATF agent Ken Croke, 54, who spent two years undercover with the gang, told The Post. “There are s–tloads of Pagans running around, actively recruiting and have been for years.”
He chronicles his harrowing covert experiences a decade ago in the new book, “Riding with Evil: Taking Down the Notorious Pagan Motorcycle Gang,” co-authored with Dave Wedge.
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Twenty Pagans were arrested and pleaded guilty to racketeering, drugs, firearms and conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges, following his undercover investigation. The gang has stormed back in recent years however, the former fed says.
Croke was an ATF supervisor in Boston in 2008 with a history of undercover operations, including efforts to take down the Vagos and Mongols motorcycle gangs in Los Angeles, when a series of events put him deep inside the Pagans of New York as they seized more northeast turf.
“Pagan members sold crystal meth and guns, gang-raped women, brutalized rivals, and extorted businesses,” he writes.
Croke witnessed the gang hitting up local businesses for old-fashioned protection money; watched in shock as an aging Pagan named Tumbleweed — who “looked like Blue from the Will Ferrel movie ‘Old School’” — removed his wooden leg and beat a man with it outside a Long Island barroom; and spent time behind bars to maintain his cover after being arrested with a handgun.
He even helped Pagans move the body of an apparent murder victim from one upstate grave to another. Unearthing the corpse near Swan Lake, 80 miles north of New York City, led to a vigorous debate on law-enforcement ethics within the ATF.
“The thought was that the guy was dead and would not be any less dead a few months later,” Croke writes.
Croke often slept on the floor of a fetid home that was more sewer than crusty gang hang in Middle Island, Long Island, “surrounded by the filth and the scent of stale beer, weed and cigarettes,” he recalls, among Pagans who “smelled like s–t and snored like bears.”
A Pagan known as Hogman “laid out a plan to brutally rape” a female acquaintance one night while he was drinking beers and snorting cocaine in their filthy hideaway, Croke writes. He risked his cover to warn “Tiffany” of the plan. She fled, never to be seen again.
Recruits are drilled in gang history and lore, Croke says. The Pagans were founded by legendary biker Lou Dobkin in Maryland around 1957. They wear patches with Pagans in blue medieval-style font across a white “cloud,” with red stitching around the edges.
The cloud patch is accompanied by the image of sword-carrying Norse god Surtr, plus a 1% patch meant to denote the most violent motorcycle gangsters. Affiliate Pagans sport a blue-on-white number 16 in the same medieval font. P is the 16th letter of the alphabet.