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The Pagans Motorcycle Club is a one-percenter motorcycle gang formed by Lou Dobkin (or Dobkins) in 1959 in Prince George's County, Marylandmarker. Known simply The Pagans colloquially, the club rapidly expanded and by 1965, the Pagans, originally clad in blue denim jackets and riding Triumphs, began to evolve along the lines of the stereotypical one percenter motorcycle club.

The Pagans are categorized as an outlaw motorcycle gang by the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker. They are known to fight over territory with the Hells Angels (HAMC) and other motorcycle clubs, such as Fates Assembly MC, who have since merged with the HAMC. They are active in eleven states; Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Insignia

The Pagans MC patch depicts the Norse fire-giant Surtr sitting on the sun, wielding a sword, plus the word Pagan's [sic] in red, white and blue. Unlike most one percenter motorcycle clubs, the Pagans do not include on their club insignia a bottom rocker indicating the geographical chapter of the member wearing the club's full patch. It is believed the club declines to follow this one percenter tradition because they do not want law enforcement to know what state chapters individual Pagans belong to. Members wear blue denim vests called cuts or cutoffs with club patches, known as colors, on the front and back and symbols of the Pagans also include a black number 13 on the back of their colors (indicating that they are affiliated with the club's Mother Chapter), the number "4" (which signifies the motto "live and die"), the number "5" (which signifies the Nazi SSmarker motto), the number "7" (an "in memory of" patch) and the number "9" (the chapter with which the member is affiliated). Nazi or White supremacist patches are also common on the front of the cuts, as are tattoos reading "ARGO" (Ar Go Fuck Yourself) and "NUNYA" (Nun'Ya Fuckin' Business).

Membership

Recently, the Pagans' membership has begun to decline as their rival Hells Angels’ membership has grown. Pagans have approximately 350 to 400 members and 44 chapters and are active along the East Coast of the United States. Chapters are common in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. The Pagans have a Mother Club or ruling council which ultimately rules the gang. The Pagans headquarters is currently in Delaware Countymarker, Pennsylvania.

Members must be at least 21 years old and owners of Harley-Davidson or Triumph motorcycles with engines larger than 900 cc. The national sergeant-at-arms' responsibility is to hand-pick 13 chapter members to serve as the "enforcers" or "regulators". This body uses violence and intimidation to prevent any and all opposition to the Mother Club.

Members join for a variety of reasons. First, bikers often consider themselves as loners and join gangs for mutual protection. The bonds with other motorcyclists are strengthened by the subscription to non-conventional norms and the rejection of mainstream society. Secondly, they use MCs as mechanisms of power. Oftentimes, MC membership brings them legitimate and illegitimate job opportunities and financial prospects. Additionally, members feel a sense of control while intimidating less powerful, defenseless citizens. Generally, the values of this MC subculture lie in the value of brotherhood, the interest in motorcycling, and respect for mechanical skills. Although many motorcycle gang members are loners, many have families, are gainfully employed, and have much to lose despite their risk-taking.

Criminal activities

The Pagans have been linked to the production and smuggling of drugs such as methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and PCP. The Pagans also have had strong ties to organized crime, especially in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Pagans often use puppet clubs, smaller affiliated motorcycle clubs, or small street drug trafficking organizations that support larger Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) for distributing drugs. Pagans have also engaged in assault, arson, extortion, motorcycle/car theft, and weapons trafficking. Most of the violence carried out by the Pagans is directed to rival OMGs such as Hells Angels.

New York/Pennsylvania

On February 23, 2002, 73 Pagans were arrested in Long Island, New Yorkmarker after appearing at an indoor motorcycle and tattoo expo called the Hellraiser Ball. The Pagans had shown up to the event to confront Hells Angels who were at the Ball. Dozens of Pagans rushed the doors of the event and were met with violence by the Hells Angels. Fighting ensued, ten people were wounded, and a Hells Angel allegedly shot and killed a Pagan member. Two weeks later, a Pagans owned tattoo parlor located in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was firebombed.

In 2005, Pagans allegedly opened fire on and killed the Vice-President of the Hells Angel's Philadelphia chapter as he was driving his truck on the Schuylkill Expressway. Later that year, the Hells Angels closed their Philadelphia chapter.

Maryland

A Pagans MC leader, Jay Carl Wagner, 66, was arrested in Washington County, Marylandmarker, by 60 plus officers from state, local and federal officials with a bomb disposal robot on May 9, 2007, and later charged with possession of a regulated firearm after conviction of a violent crime. Police and agents recovered seven handguns, two alleged explosive devices and 13 long rifles . On March 5th, 2008, Wagner plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. On August 8, 2008, U.S. District Chief Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Wagner to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Multi-State

In 2009, 55 Pagans members and associates were arrested from West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Florida. Charges range from attempted murder and kidnapping to drug dealing and conspiracy.So far, six defendants in the case have pleaded guilty.

References

  1. Feds arrest members of Pagan Motorcycle Club in multistate sweep
  2. http://gangs.umd.edu/wfrmGangsinmdDetail.aspx?id=Pagans
  3. http://gangs.umd.edu/wfrmGangsinmdDetail.aspx?id=Pagans
  4. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_60914.html
  5. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/05/us/a-biker-shot-dead-is-laid-to-rest-and-a-bloody-turf-war-rages-on.html?pagewanted=all
  6. http://www.southphillyreview.com/view_article.php?id=2910
  7. Herald-Mail.com, May 10, 2007: Police search for weapons during raid on area home
  8. http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Public-Affairs/press_releases/press08/PagansMotorcycleGangLeaderPleadsGuiltytoGunCharge.html
  9. http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Public-Affairs/press_releases/press08/PaganMotorcycleClubPresidentSentencedtooverTwoYearsinFederalPrison.html
  10. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111601144.html
  11. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/20091022_North_Jersey_Pagan_held_in_racketeering_case.html


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