PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island State Police wiretapped the phones of the suspected head of a motorcycle gang that allegedly trafficked in drugs, guns and stolen goods for nearly a year, according to new documents released in a case described as the “single largest takedown” in state police history.
The case has yielded 57 arrests so far, including that of Deric “Tuna” McGuire, who police say was the head of the Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, “one of the most powerful and violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs nationwide.”
The 1,200 pages of documents in the newly release affidavit include hundreds of pages of transcripts from the phone calls police listened into, primarily between McGuire and Kevin “Conan” Richter, a purported high-ranking member of the Pagans in New Jersey.
In the phone call transcripts, which are laden with profanities and racial slurs, Richter works with McGuire to set up a Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans.
“It’s a new age brother, it’s the Pagan age,” Richter says, according to the transcript.
“Let’s do it,” McGuire responds.
“I’m ready, we’re ready,” Richter says.
“I’ve been ready,” McGuire tells him.
Police write in the affidavit that McGuire was apparently defecting from another Rhode Island motorcycle club, and they were worried about violent clashes between that club and the newly-formed Pagans club.
The documents detail how McGuire and Richter recruited members, requiring them to travel to Elizabeth, New Jersey to join the club. The members were only allowed to ride Harley Davidson motorcycles and could not be black or “too dark” in skin color, according to the transcripts.
McGuire allegedly opened a clubhouse for the Pagans in Woonsocket.
In May 2018, police conducted multiple simultaneous raids as authorized by “no knock” warrants in the middle of the night on several houses in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. They arrested dozens of alleged biker gang members and seized drugs, guns and stolen goods.
McGuire is charged with more than 220 counts related to drugs, firearms and fraud. State Police say 57 in total have been charged, and police are searching for at least three more people.
McGuire was held without bail back in May, but has a bail hearing scheduled for next week. A phone call to his defense attorney for comment was not immediately returned.