Pagans Arrests `Just The Tip Of The Iceberg,' Fbi Agent Says Violence And Crime Are Endemic In The Gang, Officials Say. Rules Are Simple: Don't Touch A Member's Girlfriend Or Steal His Bike.

Posted: June 25, 1998

They make their money through drugs, extortion and stolen cars, and officials say they beat, shoot or kill those who get in their way.

But within their ranks, members of the notorious Pagans motorcycle club that thrives along the East Coast, with 16 chapters in Pennsylvania, observe their own rules.

``You don't touch another Pagan's girlfriend, you don't touch another Pagan's property, and you don't steal another Pagan's bike,'' said FBI Special Agent Gregory Auld. ``That's basically it. And for that, you can be severely beaten.''

Auld and Cpl. Doug Brose of the Pennsylvania State Police started investigating the Pagans four years ago over beatings, shootings and insurance scams.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Tuesday that named 10 alleged drug dealers; put top Pagans leaders from the Chester County chapter in prison; and described an elaborate, $1 million drug conspiracy in Amish country, in which two young Lancaster County men allegedly were involved.

Auld said the arrests were ``just the tip of the iceberg'' for an investigation into the Pagans, a well-organized group with 400 members in the East and a dark history that includes the murder of a New Jersey state trooper in 1983, a cross-burning at the home of a black family in Chester County in 1984, and scores of arrests for drug dealing.

The Pagans, who the 13-page indictment says sold cocaine and methamphetamine in bars throughout Chester and Lancaster Counties between 1992 and 1997, were structured locally so that the gang's president, Emory Edward Reed, 47, gave orders; the sergeant-at-arms, Dwayne Blank, dished out discipline for bikers who did not follow the rules; and the treasurer, who has not been indicted, took care of the finances.

So violent was the group that Reed once broke a gang member's leg with an ax handle because the man had refused to pick up cocaine from a ``stash house'' in Coatesville, the indictment says. Another time, Reed knocked out a front tooth of another member who had not paid for drugs that Reed had ``fronted.''

Police will not say how or when the Pagans started the allegedly illicit dealings with the two Amish men, Abner Stoltzfus and Abner King Stoltzfus, who are not related. However, residents in Lancaster County said Abner King Stoltzfus worked with Pagans in the roofing business.

And records show that the Pagans and the Amish have roamed the same rural roads for decades - the Amish in horse-drawn buggies, the Pagans on Harley-Davidsons. Both wear in black, the Amish with trousers and suspenders, the Pagans in leather jackets. And both hold regularly scheduled meetings at homes. The Amish pray to God; the Pagans call their gatherings ``church meetings'' that pay homage to Zutar, god of fire.

The Old Order Amish arrived in Lancaster County long before the Pagans. Since the Pagans formed in 1959 in Prince George's County, Md., the gang has had its headquarters near Amish farms numerous times.

Pagans membership grew quickly in the 1960s and 1970s as the Pagans merged with other gangs and emerged as one of the country's largest biker clubs, behind Hell's Angels and the Outlaws, Auld said.

Near Lancaster, J.R. Moyer, 58, of Reading, said he is a member of a biker club in Reading and has several friends who are Pagans. The bikers, he said, often raise money for charities and are always willing to help one another.

``It's kind of an unspoken rule in all clubs that if a brother calls you to do something, you do it. It's pretty much an extended family,'' said Moyer, wearing a black leather vest with his gray hair pulled back in a ponytail.

The Pagans were near the Amish when the club's members joined with Lancaster bikers called Sons of Satan.

The Sons of Satan president, John Vernon ``Satan'' Marron, eventually became the Pagans' national president, according to a 1990 report created by the now-defunct Pennsylvania Crime Commission.

In 1975, Marron moved the national headquarters to Marcus Hook in Delaware County, where the gang created a clubhouse. Marron held office until he was sent to prison in the 1970s for maiming and homicide, according to the crime report.

By then, the gang's original 13 members had formed the Mother Club that set policies for chartered groups that stretch from Maine to Florida and go as far west as Ohio. All members pay national dues, and potential new members are first ``hang-arounds'' who must be sponsored by a current member and go through a period of hazing, officials say.

In the 1980s, the Pagans sent their Philadelphia president, David Cianci, to organize members in Chester County.

By the late 1980s, police went after the Pagans aggressively, put their leaders in prison, and confiscated property used for drug dealing. Cianci had been jailed on drug and auto-theft charges, and the Mother Club appointed Reed as president. When Cianci returned to Chester, he took back leadership. Officials say he had since become an FBI informant.

The Pagans later moved to a farm in Lancaster under the presidency of Kerby ``Bear'' Keller. Keller was convicted in March 1990 for the murder of his wife, Barbara, who had served as an informant for five years.

Later, the headquarters moved to a 15-acre farm in Westmoreland County, in western Pennsylvania.

Each year, the Pagan Nation held a ``mandatory run'' to the farm where hundreds of Pagans spent the weekend in ``partying, drug dealing and club business,'' the crime report says.

Sgt. George Ellis of the Pennsylvania State Police said he investigated the Pagans in the mid-1970s through the late 1980s when he worked on a strike force in Delaware County.

``They were just big, bad people, and they wanted to show that to anyone and any way they could,'' Ellis said. ``They would target somebody in a bar; they would target someone who got in a car accident; or they would just go after someone who looked at them the wrong way.''

Although many of the Pagans were sent to jail, they never really disappeared, Ellis said. ``They just reorganized.''

And when they reorganized, it was done so well that the gang learned how to avoid federal organized crime and conspiracy laws, said the FBI's Auld.

``It's a well-organized fraternity,'' he said.

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