You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

49 people arrested in largest bust in Rhode Island history, officials say

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 5/24/2018

RI State Police, with help from other agencies, today arrested 49 people and seized 53 illegal guns, narcotics and stolen property during a coordinated series of pre-dawn raids. © RI State Police via Twitter RI State Police, with help from other agencies, today arrested 49 people and seized 53 illegal guns, narcotics and stolen property during a coordinated series of pre-dawn raids. In what officials are describing as the largest bust in state history, Rhode Island State Police announced that a yearlong investigation into motorcycle gangs has resulted in the arrests of 49 people and the seizure of 53 illegal guns and a “large quantity” of marijuana, crack, cocaine and heroin.

The Milford Daily News reports probe included search warrants executed to 29 addresses, including one each in Milford, Bellingham and Blackstone, Mass., according to a press release.

Col. Ann C. Assumpico, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, said in the press release that the arrests were made during a coordinated series of pre-dawn raids conducted by the Rhode Island State Police, with assistance from more than 150 state, federal and local law enforcement officers.

The press release did not name any of the people arrested or reveal their place of residence. Assumpico said more than a dozen additional suspects are being sought on arrest warrants charging them with dozens of crimes, including gun and drug trafficking.

Assumpico said the operation is believed to be the single largest takedown in Rhode Island State Police history.

The arrests result from a 12-month investigation dubbed “Operation Patched Out,” which was conducted by members of the Rhode Island State Police Special Investigations Unit with assistance from the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The investigation began last May, after detectives in the Special Investigations Unit received information that some of the most violent motorcycle gangs in the country were establishing local chapters in northwestern Rhode Island. Police say they quickly zeroed in on members of two gangs: The Pagans and Kryptmen, who were allegedly involved in gun and drug trafficking and other criminal activity.

“These gang members are not recreational bikers organizing local charities. These are violent criminals who belong to some of the most sinister motorcycle gangs in this country,” Assumpico said in the release.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin commended “the excellent work” by law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation.

Also in the release, Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin said the motorcycle gangs are affiliated with some of the country’s most notorious – many of which have a history of violent criminal activity including murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and large-scale drug trafficking.

More than 150 law enforcement officers, including members of the Rhode Island State Police, along with federal, state and local police agencies, fanned out shortly before 4 a.m. for a series of coordinated, simultaneous raids on each of locations.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from WCVB Boston

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon