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Prosecutor: Bikers Staged Mission

February 27, 2002

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) _ Members of a biker gang staged a reconnaissance mission before the weekend attack on a motorcycle and tattoo expo sponsored by their rivals, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

Two members of the Pagans motorcycle gang also wrote out wills before the fatal brawl, prosecutor Burton Ryan said in court Tuesday. A note found inside a Pagans van read, ``Kill, kill, kill,″ he said.

Ryan’s comments came as 24 reputed Pagans made their initial court appearances on federal racketeering charges stemming from the fight at Saturday’s Hellraiser Ball, sponsored by the rival Hells Angels.

The fight at the Vanderbilt hall in Plainview, N.Y., left one person dead and at least 10 others injured.

The defendants were the first of 73 alleged Pagans set to make appearances at the federal courthouse in Central Islip.

Ryan said the Pagans, all of whom are from out of state, met Saturday at a Lindenhurst, N.Y., restaurant. A small group went to the Vanderbilt, where the event was taking place, to conduct ``reconnaissance″ and draw maps, Ryan said.

The group returned to the restaurant and the full group loaded into 10 vans bound for the hall, he said. When they arrived, ``they immediately went and started attacking people and property,″ Ryan said.

Authorities said the fight came from turf tensions that had boiled over between the Pagans and Hells Angels.

Three Pagans told an FBI agent that ``the Mother Club was in control of the trip and had directed the out-of-state chapters to crash the Hellraiser Ball in a show of force,″ according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Among those charged Tuesday was John Orem, of Maryland, whose court-appointed attorney, Edward Lundstedt, unsuccessfully argued in court that his client should be released on his own recognizance.

``It’s a blanket complaint. It doesn’t charge anybody with doing anything specific,″ Lundstedt said outside court.

Nassau County Chief of Detectives Herbert Faust said the 73 Pagans who allegedly crashed the expo were also charged with riot, attempted gang assault and various weapons offenses.

On Sunday, authorities charged Raymond G. Dwyer, 38, of Oceanside, whom they identified as a member of the Hells Angels, with second-degree murder in the shooting of Robert Rutherford, a purported Pagan member. Dwyer was being held in jail; his home telephone number was unlisted.

Rutherford, 51, of Lancaster, Pa., died during surgery.

Faust said the Pagans believe that Long Island is their territory, dating back several years to when they were the predominant motorcycle group in the area. The Pagans also have strongholds in Virginia and Pennsylvania, while the Hells Angels operate chapters all over the world.

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