Paul Pagano


Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury decided Friday that Paul Pagano, 52, of Egg Harbor Township, will have a trial separate from Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello after no plea deal was reached.

MAYS LANDING — The last co-defendant charged in the alleged opioid ring run out of Dr. James Kauffman’s Egg Harbor Township office is heading to trial.

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury decided Friday that Paul Pagano, 52, of Egg Harbor Township, will have a separate trial from Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello after no plea deal was reached.

Pagano, an alleged Pagans motorcycle gang leader, is charged with racketeering, distribution of drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

After a conference in DeLury’s chambers with Pagano’s attorney, Charles Peruto Jr. of Philadelphia, and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy, DeLury announced there was no plea agreement and “the matter is not now ripe for a plea.”

Levy then moved to sever Pagano’s case from that of Augello, who is the only other remaining co-defendant going to trial.

“In this case, a separate trial appears to be in the interest of justice,” DeLury said. “First, this defendant’s culpability in the matter is not as great as that alleged against Mr. Augello. Second, this defendant’s trial preparation and strategy has been different and is not fairly to be pressed to trial at this point.”

Most of the evidence against Pagano appears to be “inferential and circumstantial,” DeLury said, adding it could be a distraction to both the state’s prosecution and the defense in Augello’s case.

Pagano is scheduled to appear before DeLury for a pretrial conference at 10 a.m. Nov. 2.

Augello, 62, of Upper Township, is charged with the murder of April Kauffman, attempted murder of James Kauffman, leading a drug-trafficking network, distribution of drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs. Jury selection in Augello’s trial is to begin Sept. 11.

The co-defendants who have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify at Augello’s trial include:

Beverly Augello, 48, of Summerland Key, Florida

Tabitha Chapman, 35, of Absecon

Glenn Seeler, 38, of Sanford, North Carolina

Cheryl Pizza, 37, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Joseph Mulholland, 52, of the Villas section of Lower Township

Contact: 609-272-7241
Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments