Operation patched out the aging rebel hair electricity song

As of one p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time today, according to multiple official and published reports, fifty-two alleged members or associates of the Pagans and Kryptmen Motorcycle Clubs had been arrested on state drug, weapons and assault charges in a massive roundup of Rhode Island and Massachusetts bikers dubbed “Operation Patched Out.” The Aging Rebel believes that reports are probably overblown.

Starting yesterday before dawn, about 150 police served search warrants on 29 locations in Woonsocket, Burrillville, Chepachet, North Smithfield, North Providence and Warwick, Rhode Island and in Blackstone, Bellingham, Milford and Charlton, Massachusetts. So far, 52 people have been taken into custody and as many as 60 may be subject to arrest.

The affidavit that requested the search and arrest warrants is 1,300 pages long. Although police and news outlets – like the Providence Journal – have presented the arrests as “Two Rhode Island Biker Gangs Toppled” the number of arrestees who are actually members of the two clubs remains uncertain. The Aging Rebel believes that seven of the defendants belong to a fledgling Pagans chapter and four defendants belong to the Kryptmen.

In a press release issued yesterday, Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, announced that in addition to the arrests, “53 illegal guns and a large quantity of marijuana, crack, cocaine and heroin” had been seized.

“The raids involved the use of explosive devices to breach heavily fortified buildings; an armored truck and battering ram to break down doors; and dozens of heavily armed SWAT team members and other officers. Fortunately…it was conducted without incident.”

According to the official account, “The arrests result from a 12-month investigation dubbed Operation Patched Out, which was conducted by members of the Rhode Island State Police Special Investigations Unit with assistance from the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).”

“The investigation began last May, after detectives in the Special Investigations Unit received information that some of the most violent motorcycle gangs in the country were establishing local chapters in northwestern Rhode Island. They quickly zeroed in on members of two gangs: The Pagans and Kryptmen, who were allegedly involved in gun and drug trafficking and other criminal activity.”

“Using electronic surveillance and court-ordered wiretaps, members of the State Police Special Investigations Unit intercepted thousands of phone conversations and text messages, while collecting other evidence detailed in a 1,300-page affidavit used to secure the warrants executed earlier today.”

“These gang members are not recreational bikers organizing local charities. These are violent criminals who belong to some of the most sinister motorcycle gangs in this country,” Assumpico was quoted as saying. “When I learned they were trying to establish a foothold here in Rhode Island, I ordered my detectives to use whatever means necessary to investigate and eradicate these gangs. Today’s arrests send a clear and convincing message: We will not allow motorcycle gangs and other criminals to sell guns and drugs on our streets and commit violent crimes in our communities.”