James (L) and April (R) Kauffman
EGG HARBOR TWP., N.J. (WTXF) - Authorities say a New Jersey doctor running an illegal prescription drug ring with a motorcycle gang hired one of the members to kill his wife after she threatened to expose the scheme.
For Kimberly Pack, it's been more than five agonizing years waiting for justice in the murder of her mother, popular Jersey Shore radio host April Kauffman.
"As you can imagine today is a very, very difficult day for me and for my family," Pack told reporters. "I think for the first time today I can actually breathe. For the past five and a half years, I felt like I've been holding my breath."
Now, April's 69-year-old husband, Dr. James Kauffman, stands charged with her brutal murder, along Pagans Motorcycle Club member Ferdinand "Miserable" Augello, former Pagans Paul "Burr" Pagano and Glen "Slasher" Seeler were charged with racketeering as part of a drug ring tied to Kauffman and the Pagans.
"Every person involved in the drug enterprise was either a Pagan, a former pagan or an associate of the Pagan Outlaw motorcycle gang," Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Prosecutors say Dr. Kauffman hired a hitman with ties to the Pagans to kill his wife after she threatened to expose the illegal pill mill drug operation he ran out of his office with the Pagans.
"He was intent to have her killed as opposed to losing his financial empire," Tyner told reporters at a late afternoon press conference.
Investigators say Kauffman used Pagans associate Joseph Mulholland to recruit Frank Mulholland to commit the murder inside the Kauffman's Linwood home.
"The doors were left open and Frank Mulholland was given a gun to carry out his task. He went inside and shot April Kauffman—twice," Tyner explained.
"I think it's very surreal. The details that emerged in that press conference I was not privy to," Pack added. "It really takes your words away. It's such a gut-wrenching thing."
Frank Mulholland, the alleged shooter, died of a drug overdose 18 months after the murder. The prosecutor says the Pagans allegedly involved also conspired to kill James Kauffman.
Investigators say the illegal pill mill operation continued for five years after the murder until Kauffman's arrest last June.