Monday, September 21, 2020

Pagans expansion in NJ causing angst

Pagans greatly increased recruitment as a result of boss Keith Conan Richter.At public hearings last year, Pagans leaders repeatedly pleaded the fifth. Then, one surprised the panel.

“All I will say is it is not the policy of this club for anybody to engage in any criminal activity,” said Hugo “Zorro” Nieves, national vice president.
Pagans have traditionally been regarded as a whites only club.At Richter's direction, the Pagans 'patched over' smaller gangs, and allowed prospects to pay cash to join. The club also relaxed rules to permit dark-skinned Latinos and some Asians to join, but no Blacks. This has lead to internal strife.

The Pagans were founded in Maryland in 1959. South Jersey has been its stronghold. The gang counts 300 members in 17 chapters throughout the state. Officials said there has been a 50% increase in chapters in New Jersey over the past three years.