A Suffolk County, New York, man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm, by Judge Kevin Charles McNulty of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Keith Richter, a/k/a “Conan,” 62, of Bay Shore, New York, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today by videoconference.
According to U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Richter is the national president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club—an outlaw motorcycle gang known by law enforcement to engage in illegal activity including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes.
On or about February 20, 2021, the Pagans hosted a party in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While Richter was traveling from the party to his home in Suffolk County, New York, law enforcement pulled the vehicle over in Mercer County, New Jersey.
Richter has already served a 16 year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. He was arrested on the latest charges back in February after an SUV he was riding in was stopped by federal and local authorities as it crossed state lines from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.
Police discovered a hidden compartment containing a loaded handgun. Richter and a fellow Pagan were released and sent on their way, but several days later Richter was charged by federal authorities in Newark, New Jersey.
Sources say Richter had just left a meeting of the Pagan hierarchy in Lancaster, Pa. and was headed to his Bayshore, Long Island home when the pair was pulled over. According to biker experts and insiders, there is widespread thinking among club members that the gang chieftain was betrayed by someone within the Pagans who knew he was carrying a gun to the Pennsylvania meeting.
Law enforcement recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from a front-seat compartment in the vehicle. As a result, law enforcement obtained a warrant for Richter’s arrest, which was executed on February 26, 2021.
Richter was previously convicted of felony offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, for which he served a 16-year term of imprisonment.
Richter reportedly stepped aside and Robert Francis, aka “Big Bob”, replace him to fill the leadership void in the troubled outlaw motorcycle club.
Richter, who spearheaded a widespread expansion of the club known as “The Blue Wave”, plead guilty last week to being a felon in possession of a gun after facing federal gun charges in New Jersey. Richter is facing a possible 10 year sentence, but is expected to serve 2 years, nine months, according to federal authorities.
In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Richter to three years of supervised release.
The Pagans in New Jersey have been under fire from federal authorities in the past year with 11 members being charged in a variety of cases, some involving violence committed against other Outlaw Motorcycle clubs and their own associates.
The president of the Bronx, New York chapter of the Pagans, Francisco Rosado, was also gunned down execution style in May 2020 by a pair of hitmen in a brazen broad daylight hit. The murder came after someone opened fire at the new Bronx headquarters of the Hells Angels. Some believe the move was in retaliation for the clubhouse shooting.
Authorities say two Hells Angels members, Frank “Loose Cannon” Tatulli and Sayanon Thongthawath, were arrested a year ago for the murder of Rosado. The entire hit was caught on video by a nearby surveillance camera. It showed the two masked gunmen exit a Jeep armed with weapons equipped with silencers and open fire on Rosado and another Pagan member, who was wounded. The two gunmen jumped back in the SUV and fled the scene while horrified neighbors looked on.
Police sources say there has been no retaliation by the Pagans for the Rosado hit.