Rhode Island State Police said they believe they’ve carried out the single largest takedown in their history. Police Colonel Ann Assumpico, at a press conference Wednesday, announced the arrests of 49 people and the seizure of more than 53 illegal guns, and quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack and marijuana.
Police said the arrests were made in a series of simultaneous, pre-dawn raids early Wednesday on 29 locations in northern Rhode Island and adjacent Massachusetts communities. The raids were conducted by the Rhode Island State Police, with assistance from more than 150 state, federal and local law enforcement officers.
Officials said RI State Police Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Philbin led a year-long investigation leading up to the arrests after police got a tip that local chapters of outlaw motorcycle gangs had set up shop in northern Rhode Island, primarily in Woonsocket, North Smithfield and Burrillville.
Those arrested include members of two motorcycle gangs, the Pagans and Kryptmen, as well as drug dealers, weapons suppliers and their customers. Police also said they’re looking for more than a dozen other suspects.