The national leader of an outlaw biker gang, who spent 16 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder, had a loaded and illegal revolver when Arson Squad detectives arrived to investigate a fire at his Bay Shore home in 2019, Suffolk prosecutors said.
Keith Richter, 62, also known as "Conan," was arraigned Monday and charged with second and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies. Suffolk Acting Supreme Court Justice Chris Ann Kelley set bail at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond.
If convicted of the top count, Richter, who authorities said is the national president of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, an outlaw biker gang, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
"This is a known gang leader who was previously convicted of conspiring to commit murder, so the fact that he allegedly had a loaded and unsecured firearm in his possession is concerning," Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a statement Monday. " … We are laser-focused on combating gang violence and gang activity in our communities. Whether it’s the Pagans, MS-13, the Bloods, or any other street gang, the message remains the same: you are not welcome here, and law enforcement is coming for you."
James Frocarro, Richter's Port Washington-based defense attorney, decline to comment.
On March 30, 2019, Suffolk police Arson Section detectives arrived at Richter's home on Ocean Avenue and observed a gun in his bedroom. A search warrant was obtained for the home and authorities recovered a loaded .38 caliber revolver, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear why it took more than two years to make an arrest.
The revolver was located next to a wallet containing Richter’s driver's license, prosecutors said. Police also found numerous articles of clothing and paraphernalia related to Richter’s membership in the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club in the bedroom where the gun was found, officials said.
The cause of the fire was accidental, authorities said.
Richter's felony convictions make it illegal for him to purchase a firearm, including conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.
In February, Richter was arrested by federal authorities for alleged possession of a loaded .45 caliber handgun recovered during a traffic stop in Mercer County, New Jersey. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Richter is due back in court in Suffolk County on June 29.