The Truth About The Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang's Secret Drug Ring

Biker gangs have a reputation for being tough and disorderly, and while some bikers are merely seeking companionship with people who share their hobby, others follow the path of organized crime and hooliganism. The Hell's Angels, one of the most well-known biker gangs in the world, frequently grab headlines for their illegal behavior, as do their fast-spreading rivals, Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Club, whose crimes include extortion, secret drug rings, and even murder.

According to the Daily Mail, one chapter of the Pagans had a member gun down New Jersey radio host April Kauffman in 2012. Initially, authorities were confused as to why Kauffman had been killed. She was an advocate for veterans, which many of the local Pagans were, but beyond gang-wide misogyny, no motive could be traced. That is, until a pill smuggling ring within the Pagans was discovered, leading back to Kauffman's husband, former doctor James Kauffman, who shockingly ordered the murder of his wife, who had been threatening to expose the secret.

The drug ring went unnoticed for five more years

James Kauffman had struck a deal with Pagan biker Ferdinand Augello to hand out oxycontin prescriptions to "patients" sent by Augello. The pair would receive cash, some of the profits if the pills were sold, or the drugs themselves (via Meanwhile, April Kauffman had been asking for a divorce, which James would not allow for fears of losing half of his "empire." When April threatened to divulge the secret drug ring, James ordered Augello to have her killed. 

The drug ring continued for five years after April's murder, and although the Pagans were immediately suspected, the oxycontin smuggling had yet to be uncovered. The hitman died of an overdose a year later. It was only when police issued a warrant for a weapons charge against Kauffman that the truth about the motive behind his wife's murder was uncovered. Kauffman was transported to a different prison when it became apparent that Augello was attempting to have him killed behind bars, but the former doctor hung himself in his cell. Augello was later arrested and convicted earlier this year, ending a saga of bikers, betrayal, and murder.

The story is explored in the documentary "Doctor's Orders," streaming on Discovery+.