William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
TRENTON, NJ--At a hearing in Trenton last month alleged members of the Pagan MC appeared before the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation to answer questions about the club's expansion into New Jersey. The three individuals, who all invoked their fifth amendment right to remain silent, included Pagan Motorcycle Club member, James Helveston Jr., Pagan Motorcycle Club National Vice President Hugo Nieves, and Pagan Motorcycle Club National Mother/National Club Member Luis Arocho.
Nieves, a South Jersey resident who is known as “Zorro," broke his silence at the end of his testimony to say, “It is not the policy of this club to engage in any criminal activity. And that’s all I will say about that.”
According to NJ.com the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, under the command of a new national president, is undergoing a major growth in New Jersey. There is an increase in violent clashes between the Pagans and rival motorcycle clubs.
A NJTV News video reveals a Hells Angels member being attacked by Pagan MC members with a axe handle at a gas station in Newark in April 2018. The man that was attacked, suffered broken bones and a collapsed lung. According to authorities he refused to testify against his attacker (s).
The State Commission of Investigation, is an independent state watchdog formed in the late 1960s to investigate public corruption and organized crime.
The two-hour-plus hearing featured testimony from SCI investigators, New Jersey State Police officers and an assistant prosecutor with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. It also included audio clips of police interviews with Pagan members and videos of Pagan gatherings.
Edwin Torres, SCI investigative agent said the Pagans know they’re on law enforcement’s radar: at their Roar to the Shore in Wildwood, they wave to a surveillance camera. To communicate, they rely on face-to-face conversations, and as one gang member said, club members encourage texting on what law enforcers said they can’t access — What’s App.
“This is a well-run organization. It is a criminal enterprise,” said Torres.
The Pagan's MC had a chapter in Gloucester City in the late 60's early 70's. They were active locally into the 80's. This reporter remembers an incident where the Gloucester City Police allowed a member to block off a section of Ellis Street for his wedding reception. The member and his bride were married by the city mayor. The groom and bride road around town on their motorcycle followed by club members roaring through the city on their motorcycles after the ceremony. They ended up at Ellis Street where the couple lived for the reception.
Ten years ago a small chapter of the club was active once again in Gloucester City. A rumor circulated in June 2010 about an alleged fight between the Pagans and Warlocks. George Berglund, the police chief at that time, said, "The Pagan’s motorcycle club established a local chapter in Gloucester City several years ago. Several of our citizens have decided to join this chapter for unknown reasons. There was an incident that happened inside of Jacks bar on Friday night, (June 4) where several members of the Warlocks showed up as well as the Pagan’s motorcycle club. There was no fight or loud words exchanged. (Reporter’s emphasis)
“We decided to call in mutual aid to help disperse both groups of bikers. Both groups were dispersed without incident. There were no arrests because there were no witnesses or complainants that came forward.”