BURRILLVILLE – The leader of the Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club has been sentenced i to serve 10 years in prison after pleading to multiple felony charges in Providence County Superior Court.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha and Rhode Island State Police Colonel Darnell Weaver announced the sentence, which stems from an investigation by the Rhode Island State Police in 2017 and 2018 into outlaw motorcycle gangs, known as “Operation Patched Out.”
Deric “Tuna” McGuire, 38, of Burrillville, entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of possession of one ounce to one kilogram of cocaine; one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person; three counts of conspiracy to violate Rhode Island’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act; one count of conspiracy to sell concealable weapons without proper paperwork and sell firearms to prohibited persons; one count of conspiracy to provide a false document to a public official; one count of conspiracy to receive stolen goods over $10,000; and one count of knowingly providing a false statement for the purposes of procuring a loan.
Justice Robert Krause sentenced McGuire to 20 years on Thursday, Oct. 27, with 10 years to serve at the ACI and a 10-year suspended sentence with 20 years of probation. McGuire will also forfeit $80,229 – and six cars – stemming from his criminal activity
“Make no mistake, the defendant and the organized criminal enterprise he stood at the center of represent a significant risk to the safety of Rhode Islanders,” said Neronha. “The defendant made it his job to place guns in the hands of those who could otherwise not pass a background check. He funded his criminal enterprise by trafficking drugs and stealing valuables from others. Through the hard work of the Rhode Island State Police, in partnership with our prosecutors, this defendant and his associates are off the streets and unable to threaten public safety.”
According to the AG’s office, had the case proceeded to trial, the state was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between 2017 and 2018, McGuire, as the leader of the Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, participated in a criminal enterprise involving illegal possession and distribution of narcotics, illegal possession and sale of firearms, and illegal possession and theft of stolen property.
McGuire was known to law enforcement as the president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, designated as an outlaw motorcycle gang by the United States Department of Justice, and reported to be involved in criminal activity nationally through club chapters in numerous states.
Between 2017 and 2018, the RISP conducted an extensive investigation into outlaw motorcycle gangs in Rhode Island, including the defendant and his associates, according to the AG.
On May 23, 2018, investigators executed multiple search warrants at locations in Burrillville, Woonsocket, and North Smithfield, including at the defendant’s home on Central Street in Burrillville. From his residence and a garage bay next to the Pagans clubhouse in Woonsocket, investigators seized approximately 327 grams of cocaine, approximately $29,800 in cash, and eight handguns, including two Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handguns, Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, two Glock 23 .40 caliber semi-automatic handguns, two Glock model 27 .40 caliber semi-automatic handguns, and a Cobra .380 semi-automatic handgun.
Under Rhode Island law, individuals convicted of certain violent crimes are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and the defendant was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon in 2014.
During their investigation, the RISP determined that the defendant conspired with his associates to distribute significant amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
The RISP also reportedly determined that the defendant conspired to sell firearms, including ghost guns, to individuals otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. During that time, the defendant also conspired to steal a Bobcat loader, valued at more than $10,000, as part of a scheme to fence lawn and construction equipment.
Additionally, the defendant conspired to provide a letter to the Rhode Island Parole Board stating that an incarcerated associate had secured employment in an effort to convince the Parole Board to grant him parole, according to Neronha. The defendant also reportedly provided a false statement inflating his annual income in order to secure financing for the purchase of a motorcycle.
Sergeant Ryan N. Mahoney, Detective Mathew C. Lynch, Detective Gregory DeMarco, and Detective Michael Reynolds of the Rhode Island State Police and Assistant Attorneys General James R. Baum and Joseph J. McBurney of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and prosecution of the case
In total, 61 individuals were arrested stemming from the investigation by the RISP between 2017 and 2018 into outlaw motorcycle gangs in Rhode Island. .