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Augello tapes weave tale of Mexican cartel, plot to kill Kauffman

Augello tapes weave tale of Mexican cartel, plot to kill Kauffman


MAYS LANDING — At the state’s behest, Andrew Glick told his friend and fellow Pagans motorcycle club member Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello that a Mexican drug cartel was willing to take out James Kauffman in jail to avoid losing one of their best clients.

Glick took the stand again during the third day of the April Kauffman murder trial Wednesday.

In several secretly recorded conversations with Augello — the only man left alive charged in the May 10, 2012, murder of April Kauffman — Glick tells Augello he has someone who will poison the doctor’s commissary and the two discuss when and how it would happen.

“I brought it up that I had been approached by the people that I had been in business with ... that they had offered their assistance,” Glick told Atlantic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy.

Augello, 62, of Upper Township, is charged with the murder of April Kauffman and with leading an opioid drug ring with James Kauffman out of the doctor’s medical office. But the testimony Wednesday mainly centered on Augello’s third charge of conspiracy to murder James Kauffman. The state alleges Augello wanted the doctor dead to avoid him implicating Augello in the drug ring and murder.

Glick told Levy during examination that Augello told him he wanted Kauffman dead “the sooner the better.”

In another recording, Glick and a suspicious Augello discuss why the cartel members were interested in helping them out.

Glick says he is a good customer of the cartel, and if he goes to jail on weapons and drugs charges stemming from his November arrest, the cartel will lose a quarter of a million dollars in drug income without him.

“I’m kind of signing a deal with the devil,” Glick says.

He later told Levy this was a lie.

Many of the recorded conversations were difficult to understand, and the jury followed along closely to a transcript provided by the prosecution, although Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury had warned that only the recording is the evidence.

In the recordings, Augello was concerned that someone was listening to his conversations, and so he often whispered even when he was alone, turned the radio so loud it was hard to hear over and passed notes.

In one recording, the two men also speculate, ironically, whether Kauffman ever secretly recorded them when they visited him inside Kauffman’s Egg Harbor Township medical practice.

Additionally, the recordings reveal Augello was surprised that Kauffman was not being charged in an ongoing state health benefits fraud scheme involving compounded cream medications and more than a dozen local doctors and pharmaceutical representatives.

That multimillion-dollar scheme, which came out in the news the same summer Kauffman was arrested after a 45-minute standoff with police, is said to have targeted teachers, police officers, firefighters and state troopers.

At the end of one of the recordings, dated Jan. 6, three days before Augello’s arrest and the announcement of murder charges by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’ s Office, Augello thanks Glick.

“That’s cool, I appreciate you doing this,” Augello said.

“I just think this guy can put me away for 20 years. He’s the only guy who can,” Glick replies.

Glick told Levy he risked everything to help the state prove its case against Augello and Kauffman to avoid a prison sentence of his own.

“I’ve lost every friend,” Glick said. “I lost my job.”

He said he is selling his house and every day he is worried about his safety.

After Levy concluded his questioning of the witness, defense attorney Mary Linehan briefly questioned Glick about the way the recordings were collected.

The former Pagans leader said he wore a wire on several occasions at the request of Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Detective James Scoppa.

“They picked and choosed (sic) when they wanted to do a video. I just went along with whatever they wanted,” Glick said.

Glick told Linehan the Prosecutor’s Office had installed security cameras around his house that would “livestream” who came and went and rented a truck for him to use while his was seized by law enforcement.

Linehan’s questioning of Glick will resume at a later date, DeLury said at the end of the day Wednesday. The trial will resume Thursday morning with two new state’s witnesses.

Contact: 609-272-7251 Twitter @clairelowe

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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. After seven years at The Current and Gazette newspapers, I joined The Press in 2015. I currently cover education.

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