A doctor running an illicit opioid trafficking ring from his practice in New Jersey with the help of a motorcycle gang allegedly hired a hitman to murder his wife.
Authorities announced charges Tuesday against James Kauffman, a doctor in Egg Harbor Township, and Ferdinand Augello, a member of the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, for the May 2012 shooting death of Kauffman’s wife April. She allegedly found out her husband was running a prescription drug dealing operation with the aid of the Pagans and threatened to expose him if Kauffman did not agree to a divorce, reports the New York Post.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said Tuesday Kauffman “was intent to have her killed, as opposed to losing his financial empire.” Kauffman went to Augello, who hired Francis Mullholland to carry out the murder for a sum of roughly $20,000 in cash. Mullholland would later die of a drug overdose.
“I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice,” said Kimberly Pack, April Kauffman’s daughter, according to the New York Post. “I think for the first time, today I can actually breathe.”
Kauffman would allegedly receive $1,000 from Augello for each opioid prescription he wrote, which the gang would later sell on the street. The drug scheme continued until Kauffman’s arrest in June on weapons charges at his office. He allegedly yelled at police officers, “I’m not going to jail for this,” while waving around a handgun.
Kauffman, who faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree racketeering, denies involvement in his wife’s death. Augello faces charges related to April’s murder, as well as racketeering charges. He is also charged with conspiring to murder James Kauffman.
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