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Seized Pagan Clubhouse To Become Small Town Police Station

November 28, 1996

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Fayette City knew when the Pagans came to town.

There was no mistaking the growl of the Harley Davidsons when a weekend meeting started at the motorcycle gang’s Main Street clubhouse, wedged between a flower shop and a doctor’s office in the tranquil town of about 700 people.

Nor could you ignore the Pagans’ message: drugs and violence.

U.S. Attorney Frederick Thieman on Wednesday had a much different message for Fayette City: The Pagans’ former clubhouse, a two-story brick building seized in 1991 as part of a federal drug investigation, would be given to the community for use as a police station and town hall.

``It’s particularly meaningful to see a property previously used for criminal purposes turned over to the community for law enforcement activities,″ Thieman said.

The borough’s current offices were ruined by a flood in January and will be demolished.

Although authorities knew them for drugs and violence, the Pagans were no bother to folks in Fayette City, about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.

``You knew they were in town. The motorcycles were there. But they didn’t cause a lot of trouble,″ Fayette City police Commissioner James Eley said.

Federal authorities knew a different side of the gang.

Six Pagans were convicted in 1988 on drug and racketeering charges. Authorities said they distributed marijuana, LSD, parsley laced with PCP, methamphetamine and cocaine from the clubhouse.

The seizure of the clubhouse was the final step in gutting the gang. U.S. Marshals claimed the building in 1991 after a court battle, but it took them five more years to get the title.