Kauffman, alleged partner held pending trial
James Kauffman and his alleged partner in a deadly drug-dealing enterprise will stay in jail pending trial, a judge ruled Thursday. Kauffman is accused of writing Oxycontin prescriptions to financially benefit him and the violent Pagans Motorcyle Club. Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello — allegedly president of the Pagans Cape May Chapter — sent people to the Egg Harbor Township endocrinologist, who would trade prescriptions for cash, according to the charges. Kauffman’s attorney did not contest his detention. Kauffman already was being held on weapons charges stemming from him pulling a gun and threatening to kill himself when law enforcement served warrants in the case June 13. Augello, however, has no criminal history and should be freed, public defender Mary Linehan argued. But Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy pointed out that not only is Augello accused of setting up the May 12, 2012, killing of April Kauffman. He also is accused of trying to plot James Kauffman’s death when he feared the suspended doctor would turn on him after the June arrest. “The attempted murder of Mr. Kauffman was in the way of a witness tampering, in an attempt to silence a witness for testifying against him,” he said. “The murder of April Kauffman was a successful attempt to silence a witness against him. “Every time he’s out he attempts to murder people who may do him wrong,” he added. Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury agreed, ordering Augello held. “The defendants involvement in organized criminal activity and his resorting to extreme violence show he is a probable danger to society,” DeLury said. Two other co-defendants, Tabitha Chapman and Joseph Mulholland, were released Thursday, with conditions, including weekly check-ins, alternating by phone and in-person. Chapman’s only connection to the defendants is that her mother dated Augello, attorney Jim Grimley said. Mulholland did get Oxycontin from Kauffman, but it was for his own pain management, said attorney Ed Weinstock. After five surgeries, Mulholland became dependent upon opioids, for which he eventually sought treatment, Weinstock said. He has now been clean five years. Kauffman is accused of murder, racketeering and other crimes connected to the 2012 killing of his wife and an alleged drug partnership with the Pagans Motorcycle Club. He is being represented by Lou Barbone. Augello has two public defenders, Linehan and Omar Aguilar, because it’s “a complex case,” BreakingAC was told. The man who killed April Kauffman, Frank Mullholland, died of a heroin overdose in late 2013. Paul Pagano, an alleged Pagan also arrested in the case, will have his detention hearing next Thursday. Three others charged are being held in other states awaiting extradition.