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.
Much of the affidavit centers on the 33-year-old McGuire, depicted as not just a motorcycle gang leader but the head of a Woonsocket-based drug operation.
McGuire is being held without bail and faces more than 220 counts of narcotics and weapons charges. His lawyer Christopher Millea declined comment on Tuesday.
The affidavit, which shines a light on the sometimes violent world of rival biker gangs, alleges that McGuire, a former member of the Thug Riders motorcycle gang, was by last summer looking to join the Pagans.
At the same time Keith Richter, the purported leader of a New Jersey-area Pagans club — who the New York Times reported in 1998 had served prison time for plotting a killing — was looking to expand into Rhode Island.
Richter, with ambitions of becoming the Pagan’s national leader, took a liking to McGuire because he had committed “violent acts” in the past against members of the Hell’s Angels, the Pagans’ historic nemesis.
Richter, also known as “Conan,” “was attempting to recruit and expand the Pagans motorcycle club and establish a Rhode Island chapter with Deric S. McGuire as the chapter president,” says the affidavit.
McGuire took a “mandatory trip” to Elizabeth, New Jersey, last December to meet with members of the Pagans. Then he returned to Rhode Island and faced the doldrums of normal life — like plowing out a hospital parking lot, a responsibility Richter seemed to have a hard time understanding in one recorded conversation.
McGuire: “I got this hospital over here, so I didn’t even … get to [go] home or nothin’ ”.
Richter: “You’re in the hospital?”
McGuire: “No I was sanding, plowing, all kinds of …”
Richter: “Oh, okay.”
In February of this year, Richter ordered all new prospective Pagan members to a meeting in New Jersey on March 3: “Everybody got to go down on bikes to get patched.”
But there was a delay. It wasn’t until March 24, the affidavit reads, that McGuire and several former Thug Riders officially became Pagans.
Agents also had McGuire under surveillance and on Saturday, April 14, state police detectives watched as McGuire wearing the patch and colors of a Pagans motorcycle club member, drove his black Harley Davidson on to the property of the “newly established” Pagans clubhouse at 91 Mason St., Woonsocket, formerly the home of the Thug Riders.
The taped conversations reveal McGuire arranging meetings to sell drugs to associates out of the club house, with periodic visits to his “stash house” at 1 Lake Drive, Woonsocket, where he kept pounds of marijuana and cocaine.
Agents wiretapped at least seven different cell phones that McGuire used. Because he did not have to present actual identification to buy them, he could be creative in coming up with subscriber names. Among his aliases: Donald Trump, Bruce Wayne and Hillary Clinton.
The affidavit outlines how the state police investigation into illegal biker activity began in February 2017 when a confidential source told detectives that members of the Thug Riders were drug dealing and that tensions were growing among Rhode Island’s many motorcycle clubs.
That tension boiled over on April 8, 2017. State chapters of the Outlaws and the Thug Riders scheduled social events on that same day at their clubhouses — less than a mile apart from each other in Woonsocket. The annual Outlaws party also drew members of various other motorcycle clubs.
Before the day was over, members of the Thug Riders were making slow, intimidating drive-bys on their bikes in front of the Outlaws’ clubhouse at 19 Fabien St. as well as the Hells Angels’ clubhouse on Messer Street, in Providence.
Members of the Hells Angels gave chase, catching one of the Thug Riders, knocking him off his bike and throwing him through a house window on Valley Street, the affidavit says.
It was the threat of more violence, the state police have said, that prompted them and federal agents to move when they did in May.