Showing posts with label #PagansMC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #PagansMC. Show all posts

Friday, November 9, 2018

Rhode Island grand jury indicts MC members and associates

Providence, R.I. (November 9, 2018) BTN — A statewide grand jury has indicted 41 of 61 people arrested this spring in a state police undercover investigation into alleged assaults, drug-dealing and gun-running by Rhode Island motorcycle club members or their associates.

Guns, drugs and a rocket launcher was seized during the May 23 raids 

The state attorney general’s office released the 171-page indictment on Thursday that listed 424 counts of alleged crimes.

Sixteen others have already waived their right to have their cases presented to the grand jury and pleaded guilty, said Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

Some of the weapons confiscated during the May 23rd raids

Four others had their cases referred to the state’s Drug Court or to the attorney general’s Adult Diversion Unit, which serves as an alternative to prosecution for first-time nonviolent felony offenders.

Arraignments for those indicted are scheduled to begin December 5th before Superior Court Judge Robert D. Krause

In the predawn hours of May 23, more than 150 state and federal investigators swarmed through northern Rhode Island, carrying out at least 29 separate raids of homes, businesses and at least one motorcycle club headquarters.

For almost a year beforehand, authorities have said, they had been gathering information through at least one confidential informant and wiretaps on several cell phones used by a Burrillville man about the Pagans Motorcycle Club trying to establish a Rhode Island chapter and that biker rivalries were spawning violence.

Those recorded conversations between Deric “Tuna” McGuire and his associates also led them to believe McGuire was not just a motorcycle club leader but the head of a Woonsocket-based drug enterprise.

McGuire, who is named in the indictment, faces more than 220 counts of narcotics and weapons charges.

Display of items confiscated during Operation Patched Out carried out on May 23rd

The raids produced a stash of weapons and drugs — even one rocket launcher. And they came just weeks after a member of the Massachusetts Pagans was shot on Route 95 in Connecticut.

Mugshots: Operation Patched Out

State police officials said at the time they decided to move in when they did to prevent any further violence.

Monday, November 5, 2018

District Attorney: Police not submitting evidence against Pagans MC in bar fight

Pittsburgh, PA (November 5, 2018) Editorial — What were members of the Pittsburgh police doing drinking in a South Side bar before fighting four men, all allegedly members of the Pagans motorcycle club, earlier last month? And why are the police stonewalling the district attorney’s office as the city attempts to figure out what led to that drunken melee?

These are the questions that must be answered as serious questions have been raised about the official police account surrounding the recent brawl.

Video still of bar fight with the Pagans MC and undercover police on October 13, 2018

The Oct. 13 dust up was ostensibly the result of a drug dealing sting gone awry. According to the police, the undercover officers had their covers blown before a Pagan allegedly started pushing and throwing punches. The officers claimed the use of force was necessary for bringing down the unruly men.

All told, four alleged Pagans were arrested and charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy and causing a riot.

Video from the incident and testimony from others have revealed discrepancies in the official account

Surveillance cameras inside the bar captured officers drinking heavily for about five hours before the confrontation. Attorney Martin A. Dietz, who represents 28-year-old Erik Heitzenrater, estimated that some of the detectives had as many as 15 drinks, usually doubles and triples on the rocks.

The officers then verbally sparred with the alleged Pagans. One detective raised his shirt to display his firearm. More words were exchanged, then pushing, then fisticuffs.

After the fight broke out, video captured one defendant, 36-year-old Frank Deluca, being pinned against the bar by one officer as another struck Mr. Deluca in the head 19 times. Mr. Deluca was hospitalized with two black eyes, one of which was swollen shut, and bruising on his forehead.

Another alleged Pagan can be seen getting punched by an officer despite standing away from the scuffle. The officer then kicks that same man on the ground.

It is clear there are significant questions to be answered about this operation. But the police have not seemed too eager to answer them.

On Oct. 25, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. publicly questioned why the police have not been forthcoming with evidence and statements about the brawl.

Not enough evidence against the Pagans MC 

Mr. Zappala said that, as of this writing, he does not have enough evidence to prosecute any of the accused Pagans. He also stated that the police have not informed if the officers were actually undercover or on an assignment in the bar.

Are officers permitted to drink on the job? What latitude is afforded to undercover officers on assignment? What is the evidence supporting the charges facing the four alleged Pagans?

Mr. Zappala is right to criticize the department for its obfuscation, an approach he has effectively used in the past. The people of Pittsburgh need to know that their police officers are comporting themselves in a respectful manner and that the department will provide transparency and accountability. They deserve answers.

SOURCE:The Editorial Board - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette