FROM THE ARCHIVE

Narragansett chief arrested in 'violent' raid

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MONDAY, JULY 14, 2003

Rhode Island state troopers raided a smokeshop owned by the Narragansett Tribe today, arresting chief sachem Matthew Thomas and other tribal members, according to news reports.

Video of the scuffle was broadcast a local television station. Pictures show men and women being arrested after appearing to try and stop the troopers from entering the smokeshop. Dogs were used during the raid.

Governor Donald Carcieri and the state attorney general are asking a federal judge to shut down the facility, which opened on Saturday. The state contends the tribe has to pay state tax.

According to news accounts, the smokeshop has done brisk business since opening. The tribe sells carton of cigarettes for $22.99, compared to $54.55 elsewhere.

Get the Story:
Chaos Erupts At Smoke Shop Raid (WJAR News 7/14)
Narragansett Indian Smoke-shop Raided (AP 7/14)
State police raid of Narragansett smoke shop turns violent (AP 7/14)
STATE TO SEEK INJUNCTION TO CLOSE NARRAGANSETT TRIBE'S BUSINESS (The Westerly Sun 7/14)
Weary of waiting, defiant tribe starts selling cigarettes (The Providence Journal 7/13)
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Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe - http://www.narragansett-tribe.org

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R.I. governor promises to help Narragansett Tribe (06/04)
R.I. tribe upset over reservation checkpoint bill (05/30)
R.I. bill sets up reservation checkpoints (5/28)
R.I. tribe delays opening of tobacco shop (5/23)