WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The first of dozens of suspects rounded up Wednesday during a major crackdown on motorcycle gangs in Rhode Island are set for arraignment Thursday.
Proceedings began in District Court with the arraignment of the suspected president of RI Pagans, Deric McGuire, on 221 drug-related counts.
McGuire did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail.
State police, along with federal and local authorities, arrested 50 people in what Col. Ann Assumpico believes to be the single largest takedown in Rhode Island State Police history.
Many of the suspects – who police said were arrested without incident – are due for arraignment in Superior Court Thursday afternoon. Police said many of them are already bail violators.
I just interviewed @RIStatePolice Col. Philbin for more in-depth info on Operation Patched Out. Find out why they chose Wednesday morning to carry out the raids. Tonight on @wpri12 pic.twitter.com/mOquRhXJam— Kait Walsh (@KaitLouiseWalsh) May 24, 2018
Col. Philbin said a woman was buying gun pieces online legally and making guns without serial numbers…she could make one in an hour after it was ordered. Had dual citizenship with Northern Ireland (anyone else thinking of Sons of Anarchy similarities here?!)— Kait Walsh (@KaitLouiseWalsh) May 24, 2018
They also said more arrests could be coming.
Wednesday’s arrests were made during a “coordinated series of pre-dawn raids.”
Eyewitness News was first on the scene after one of the raids in Woonsocket and first broke the story on WPRI.com.
Assumpico said the raids were the result of a year-long investigation called Operation Patched Out, which focused on motorcycle gangs operating in northwestern Rhode Island, primarily Woonsocket, North Smithfield, and Burrillville.