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FBI: Hells Angels member had cache of weapons inside home

An alleged member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was ordered held without bail Friday afternoon one day after FBI agents seized a cache of weapons and drugs from his North Providence home.


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Hells Angels member from North Providence held without bail on drug, firearms charges

PROVIDENCE — A “full patch” member of the Rhode Island Hells Angels motorcycle gang who was charged with gun and drug offenses after a search of his North Providence home was been ordered held without bail on Friday afternoon.

Douglas Leedham, 54, is charged in Rhode Island federal court with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln Almond ordered him held without bail because of the seriousness of the charges, some of which carry mandatory minimum sentences of five years.

Federal authorities searched Leedham’s residence at 1117 Douglas Ave., unit 12, on Thursday.

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FBI responds to North Providence complex in 'ongoing investigation'

Local and federal law enforcement officers descended on a complex in North Providence on Thursday.

Several town police cruisers were seen leaving the Geneva Mills complex at about noon. The FBI was also there.

"The FBI is conducting court authorized activity in connection with an ongoing investigation," an FBI spokeswoman told NBC 10 News.

NBC 10 News later learned that the complex, which is located at 1119 Douglas Ave., is owned by Immortal Land Development, LLC.

However, Steven Lancia is the manager and owner. Lancia is a full patch member of the Hells Angels-Providence Chapter, according to a law enforcement source.

Rhode Island State Police have made prior drug arrests at the location.

The FBI said it had no additional comment.

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Smithfield firefighter sentenced in sweeping motorcycle gang case

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - A Smithfield firefighter has been sentenced after being swept up in a major crackdown on motorcycle gangs in Rhode Island. 

Thomas Mulcahey, 54, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor drug charges last month.

He was arrested in May as part of a R.I. State Poilce sting dubbed, "Operation Patched Out." State police, along with federal and local authorities, arrested 50 people in what Col. Ann Assumpico said was the single largest takedown in state history.

According to a spokesperson for the R.I. Attorney General's Office, Mulcahey won't serve any time in prison. As part of a plea deal, he was given one year of probation and a one-year suspended sentence.

According to Smithfield Fire Chief, Robert Seltzer, Mulcahey was placed on administrative leave after his arrest. 

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Grand jury indicts 41 people connected to R.I. motorcycle gangs

(video) --- PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A statewide grand jury has indicted 41 of 61 people arrested this spring in a state police undercover investigation into alleged assaults, drug-dealing and gun-running by Rhode Island motorcycle gang members or their associates.

The state attorney general’s office released the 171-page indictment on Thursday that listed 424 counts of alleged crimes.

Sixteen others have already waived their right to have their cases presented to the grand jury and pleaded guilty, said Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

Four others had their cases referred to the state’s Drug Court or to the attorney general’s Adult Diversion Unit, which serves as an alternative to prosecution for first-time nonviolent felony offenders.

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R.I. police pull over 100 motorcycle club members, but issue no citations

HOPKINTON, R.I. — What happens when police officers from three departments pull over about 100 members of a motorcycle club on an interstate highway? Well, sometimes nothing.

Such was the case Saturday afternoon when Rhode Island State Police, assisted by officers from Hopkinton and Connecticut, pulled over about 100 members of the Pagans motorcycle club on Route 95 shortly after they had crossed into Rhode Island.

Laura Meade Kirk, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island State Police, said the motorcyclists were pulled over about 1:30 p.m. Saturday as part of an “investigatory stop.”

But the stop turned up not a single violation nor culminated in a single arrest, she said, and the bikers continued on their way to a club rally in Fall River.

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Authorities tapped phone of leader of biker gang

Court affidavit outlines Deric “Tuna” McGuire’s rise to head of Pagans motorcycle club.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For almost a year, state and federal agents wiretapped the many different telephones used by a Burrillville man, capturing, they say, his recruitment to lead a new Rhode Island chapter of the Pagans outlaw motorcycle gang and documenting his illegal drug enterprise.

Hundreds of transcribed pages of recorded conversations between Deric “Tuna” McGuire and his associates were unsealed Tuesday as part of the state police’s Operation Patched Out investigation, which in May led to more than 50 people arrested.

The recorded conversations are part of a 1,274-page affidavit that supported dozens of searches of homes, cars and motorcycles when scores of agents swept across northern Rhode Island making arrests.

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R.I. seen as key crossroads for biker gangs

The popularity of motorcycle clubs exploded in the 1940s when thousands of World War II veterans, who had shared the adrenaline of combat and a brotherhood unmatched, found themselves on the tranquil thresholds of middle-class America — and bored.

Looking to share again in dangerous thrills, some turned to motorcycles. In 1947 thousands of bikers streamed into Hollister, California, for races and a rally where drinking and club rivalries brought havoc to the small town.

The resulting outcry prompted the American Motorcyclist Association to declare that 99 percent of motorcycle clubs were law-abiding and harmless.

Seventy years later, the nefarious few — like the two clubs Rhode Island law enforcement literally blew the doors off Wednesday — still proudly call themselves “1 percenters.”

And for the last few years some violent biker gangs have been feuding over Rhode Island turf, says State Police Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin.

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Police: 4 motorcycle club members arrested in Warwick

(video)--WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Members of the Rhode Island State Police arrested four members of a motorcycle gang from Kentucky on I-95 in Warwick on Friday.

According to police, four members of the Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club were pulled over for weaving in and out of traffic near Exit 10 on 95 North.

Troopers found loaded guns, large knives and crystal meth during the traffic stop, state police said. Officials believe they were headed to Maine.

Last month, Target 12 Investigator Tim White sat down with Lt. Christopher Zarrella, the head of the State Police Intelligence Unit. Zarrella said state and local police are on high alert because clashes between two feuding outlaw biker gangs are on the rise.

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RI police on high alert as tensions mount between feuding biker gangs

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Law enforcement officials are concerned a feud between two outlaw motorcycle clubs in Rhode Island is a tinderbox on the verge of exploding into a violent turf war.

In June, the Rhode Island State Police organized a meeting between 13 local police departments as well as representatives from the Massachusetts and Connecticut state police amidst growing tensions between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws motorcycle clubs.

Lt. Christopher Zarrella, head of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit, said the Outlaws recently moved into Rhode Island, which has traditionally been an area solely controlled by the Hells Angels.

“The Outlaws have never been in Rhode Island,” Zarrella said. “Bikers are very territorial. Like any gang … people own their turf, and outlaw motorcycle gangs are no different.”