Relative of men picked up in raid files suit against police over revocation of gun permit


BURRILLVILLE — A man whose gun was reportedly seized over concerns he was affiliated with motorcycle gangs has filed a lawsuit against the town of Burrillville, Col. Stephen Lynch and the Burrillville Police Department.

And he is the nephew of a man facing felony charges over a massive drug and gun raid last year.

Pedro Alvarez Jr., of 98 Kennedy Lane is a member of the Rhode Island National Guard, the owner of Midtown Auto, and a member of the Harrisville Fire Department, according to his Facebook page. It lists his birthday as April 20, 1994.

In May of 2018, another Pedro Alvarez of 98 Kennedy Lane was one of nine suspects from Burrillville arrested in what police said was the largest raid of drugs and weapons in state history. He was one of 49 suspects hauled in over alleged activity with local motorcycle clubs, including the Pagans.

According to the Rhode Island Criminal Database, Pedro Alvarez, birthdate Oct. 13, 1980, still has multiple charges pending including felony drug conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. A third Pedro Alvarez – birthdate July 13, 1973 – was also picked up in the raid and charged with receiving stolen goods, although that case has since been closed.

In July, a judge deemed that a wiretap used in the case was not signed by the proper authority and suppressed the evidence.

A suit filed by the youngest of the Alvarez men states that the town violated his constitutional rights by revoking his permit to carry a concealed weapon, seeking unspecified damages and the reinstatement of his permit.

He confirmed with NRI NOW that the man picked up in the May raid for receiving stolen goods was his father, and the drug charges are against his uncle.

Alvarez Jr.’s attorney, Matthew Fabisch, states he is “a law abiding individual, competent in the safe handling of weapons.”

The suit states that Alvarez obtained a permit to carry the gun in January of 2017 following a background check. In June 2018, less than one month after the raid in which it appears his father was arrested, Lt. Brian Pitts informed Alvarez Jr. that his permit had been revoked.

Alvarez says he was told he would not be given a hearing.

He also says that Lynch sent him a letter stating there were photographs on his Facebook page showing him socializing with the leader of and officers of the Thug Riders and Pagan motorcycle gangs.

Alvarez Jr. reportedly states that he has never been a member or associate of any motorcycle gang and has never been charged with a crime. And at the time of the revocation, Alvarez was a U.S. Army recruit slated to attend basic training, and he currently holds with the Rhode Island National Guard, according to reports.

The lawsuit states that the town violated his right to bear arms, due process rights, and First Amendment right to free association.

Alvarez alleges that the revocation limits his employment opportunities and the security clearances he can obtain.

Lynch could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.

An original version of this article erroneously stated that it was Alvarez’s father picked up for drug charges, rather than an uncle with the same name. We apologize for the error.

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