Rhode Island

Deric ‘Tuna’ McGuire, Pagans motorcycle gang, gets 10 years in prison

PROVIDENCE – The alleged leader of the Pagans Outlaw motorcycle gang admitted on Thursday to conspiring with other members to traffic drugs and firearms and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

Deric “Tuna” McGuire, 38, of North Smithfield, pleaded not to contest nine counts relating to drugs, firearms and stolen goods in exchange for dozens of other charges being dismissed by the state, according to Attorney General Peter F. Neronha’s office .

Supreme Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced him to 20 years in prison, with 10 to serve, and 20 years probation, said Brian Hodge, spokesman for the bureau. He must pay $80,229 in compensation and give up six cars linked to the sprawling conspiracy.

Previous coverage:RI Supreme Court upholds suppression of wiretapping evidence in motorcycle gang investigations

The charge against the chairman of the Pagans Motorcycle Club RI

The charge includes possession of 1 ounce to 1 kilogram of coke; multiple counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws through trafficking in cocaine and marijuana; conspiracy to sell concealed weapons to a banned person; collusion to provide false documents to a public official; and conspired to obtain knowingly stolen goods in excess of $10,000 in order to obtain credit, Hodge said.

He was credited for time he has served since his arrest in 2018 following raids charging drugs and weapons, including a rocket launcher. McGuire, who was in domestic custody, was taken into custody by deputy sheriffs in court on Thursday and returned to the adult correctional facility.

He had dropped more than 200 charges related to the alleged conspiracy. He was represented by Jack Cicilline.

It was a sudden end to the case against McGuire, whom authorities are identifying as the leader of the Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club.

Supreme Court Justice Netti C. Vogel dealt prosecutors a blow in 2019 when she extracted key wiretapping evidence from the case, after finding that only the Chief Justice or the next highest Supreme Court Justice can authorize wiretapping .

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In McGuire’s case, Presiding Judge Alice B. Gibney had instead assigned Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg to handle the warrants in McGuire’s case while she was on sick leave. Gibney did this to avoid conflict for Krause, the senior Supreme Court Justice who was expected to later preside over McGuire’s case while making his way through the courts.

The state Supreme Court upheld Vogel’s verdict in May, meaning the case would proceed without the wiretapping evidence. It is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Joseph McBurney and James Baum.

State and federal agents had tapped at least seven different phones used by McGuire over the course of a year and arrested how he was recruited to lead a new chapter of the Pagans Outlaw motorcycle gang in Rhode Island and documented his illegal drug operations, according to the authorities.

Dubbed Operation Patched Out, the investigation led to 29 raids and the seizure of drugs and weapons in May 2018. More than 50 people have been arrested and charged with crimes that authorities say have been linked to two suspected Woonsocket motorcycle gangs, the Pagans and the Kryptmen.

McGuire and his wife Catherine Glaude returned to prison for some time earlier this year after authorities accused them of violating their bail conditions for consorting with members of a motorcycle gang. Glaude is also charged in connection with the alleged conspiracy and has pleaded not guilty.

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