Smallest state makes biggest bust in history by breaking the Pagans and Kryptmen and arresting their members
What do you think of when you think Rhode Island? Seafood? H.P. Lovecraft? Rebellious free thinkers? What about notoriously savage motorcycle gangs, drug running, illegal firearms, and turf wars? Not necessarily, right? You know why you wouldn't immediately associate The Ocean State with gangs like the Pagans and the Kryptmen? Because the Rhode Island State Police just ran them out on a rail after a year-long investigation and the biggest bust in the state's history.
In May of 2017, the Rhode Island State Police Special Investigations Unit, the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the FBI teamed up to begin "Operation Patched Out" (clever, eh?). This massive law enforcement mobilization came after members of the SPSIU was tipped off that various biker gangs—among them the Pagans and the Kryptmen—were opening local chapters in northwest R.I. Aside from a general disregard for the law (and hygiene), these gangs are known drug and firearms traffickers and seriously bad dudes.
For a solid year, Operation Patched Out tapped phones, monitored internet usage, and used other, more arcane electronic surveillance methods to collect enough evidence to fill a 1,300-page affidavit. Said affidavit was then used to secure warrants, and the cops came down on the bikers like a ton of bricks.
“These gang members are not recreational bikers organizing local charities," said Colonel Ann Assuppico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety. "These are violent criminals who belong to some of the most sinister motorcycle gangs in this country. When I learned they were trying to establish a foothold here in Rhode Island, I ordered my detectives to use whatever means necessary to investigate and eradicate these gangs.”
A total of 49 people were arrested—including Deric "Tuna" McGuire, who police say is the "kingpin" (their term) of the whole Pagans operation. Along with the alleged gang members, more than 50 illegal guns were seized along with a whole heap of marijuana, heroin, cocaine (powdered and crack), meth (natch), and a bunch of stolen ATVs and power equipment.
“These arrests send a clear and convincing message: we will not allow motorcycle gangs and other criminals to sell guns and drugs on our streets and commit violent crimes in our communities,” Colonel Assumpico said.