Tri-State Sweep Nets 17 Alleged Motorcycle Gang Members

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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – Authorities arrested 17 alleged members and associates of the Pagans motorcycle gang, culminating a 21-month investigation.

Police conducted a series of raids today that included four locations in New Jersey. Authorities said that 34 firearms and what appeared to be an improvised explosive device were recovered.

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The suspects range in age from 28 to 70. Two indictments unsealed today charge them with racketeering, murder conspiracy, assault, extortion, drug distribution, witness tampering and firearms offenses.

Robert Leonardis, 41, and Robert Deronde, 46, allegedly members of the Elizabeth Pagans chapter, are charged with the distribution of various drugs, including cocaine, cocaine base, oxycodone, and methamphetamine. If convicted of the drug counts, they face maximum terms of imprisonment of between 20 years to life.

Harold Legg, 55, of Edison, is accused of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and allegedly used, carried, and possessed firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

Sergio Cuevas, 70, of Rahway is accused of illegally possessing firearms.

Legg could face life in prison, while Cuevas faces a maximum 10-year sentence.

ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Ronald B. Turk said, “Today’s arrests affirm ATF’s commitment to making our neighborhoods safer. Targeting and arresting armed violent criminals remains one of our top priorities and we, along with our partners, will continue this fight.”

The cases announced today are the result of “Operation On The Road Again,” a multi-agency investigation led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York; ATF Field Divisions from New York, Newark, Boston, and Baltimore; and the Suffolk County Police Department.


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