OFF THE WIRE
ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: The search for whoever tossed a pipe bomb filled with nails that broke through the walls of three Fair Lawn homes, caused other damage and terrified residents is focusing on the Pagans motorcycle gxxg, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli didn't respond to an inquiry about the ongoing investigation.
Howeve r, CLIFFVIEW PILOT confirmed the information with two independent sources who have direct knowledge of the incident. The intended target was a former member of the gxxg, one of the sources said.
Investigators have said the Pagans have boosted their recruiting efforts over the past year, primarily because of the emergence of a Hells Angels chapter here in North Jersey. Before then, incidents involving the Pagans primarily occurred in South Jersey and the Philadelphia area.
It's unclear whether the target had gone over to the Pagans' rival or simply left the gxxg life altogether.
But just last fall, a federal indictment named 17 accused of participating in a wide-ranging campaign of assault, extortion and murder conspiracy that included obtaining explosives to launch at targeted Hells Angels in New York and New Jersey. Several are ex-cons, including at least one who served time for murder, records show.
Hit in a series of raids in the tri-state area were four Pagan hideouts in New Jersey. Federal agents seized nearly three dozen firearms and an explosive device.
According to the indictment, those charged were ordered to be ready to die or go to prison.
"As this case suggests, violent and criminal motorcycle gxxgs are not quaint vestiges of the past," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for New York's Southern District. "Some of the defendants allegedly plied their criminal trade not in the inner city but in quiet communities like the Catskills."
The June 5 explosion at 18-11 Hunter Place in Fair Lawn "caused the pipe to fragment into numerous small pieces that traveled outward, striking neighboring cars and houses," Molinelli said the morning after the bombing.
"The force of the pipe bomb caused the fragments to travel through the walls into the interior of the house, as well as two other dwellings located at 18-14 and 18-02 Hunter Place. In addition, several vehicles were also damaged."
No injuries were reported.