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Steven A. Phillips, age 48, of Westville

SouthJerseyMagazine.com: HELL ON WHEELS

APRIL 2011
by Jonathan Vit 
Outlaw motorcycle gangs, long a presence in the area, are on the rise. South Jersey is shaping up to be the center of a turf war, and the fallout could hit close Outlawposter to home.

Armed with homemade hand grenades and orders to kill, members of the Pagan outlaw motorcycle gang planned to roar into Wildwood’s annual biker rally last September, looking for blood. Members were ordered to be “prepared to die or go to prison,” during their planned attack on rival Hells Angels, according to federal officials.

Luckily, federal prosecutors, already neck deep in a 21-month investigation, were a step ahead of the notorious motorcycle gang. They rounded up 17 high-ranking Pagans from across New Jersey and New York, and the Roar to the Shore biker rally ended with little more than a whimper.

Nonetheless, the message was clear: Pagans have cemented themselves in New Jersey, and they are willing to defend their turf with deadly force.

“They are called one-percenters for a reason,” says Gloucester City Police Chief George Berglund. (The reason being that, according to lore, the America Motorcyclist Association once insisted that 99 percent of bikers were decent law-abiding citizens.) “They are outlaws and they are proud of it. They are very dangerous.”

Pagans were the fourth most prevalent gang in the state, behind the Latin Kings and two Bloods offshoots?(Sex Money Murder and 9-3), in a 2010 New Jersey State Police report.

In South Jersey, the outlook was grim. More than 20 municipalities, including Lindenwold, Cinnaminson and Deptford Township, reported Pagan populations within their borders within the last five years. The state police listed three South Jersey counties—Gloucester, Burlington and Cape May—as witnessing an increase of Pagan-related activity of nearly 40 percent between 2004 and 2007.

READ via site.southjerseymagazine.com