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Narragansett Tribe, state weigh options on smoke shop

The Narragansett Tribe and the state of Rhode Island are considering their options now that a federal appeals court has ruled in the smoke shop dispute.

The tribe is considering reopening the shop that the state raided on July 14, 2003. Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas said all state criminal charges stemming from the incident should be dropped.

Meanwhile, the state plans to appeal, said attorney general Patrick C. Lynch. But he said he would not apologize for raiding the reservation, seizing tribal property and arresting tribal members, including Thomas.

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals last Thursday ruled that the raid violated tribal sovereignty but that the state has a right to seek taxes on the sale of tobacco products to non-Indians.

Get the Story:
Narragansetts consider reopening smoke shop (The Providence Journal 5/14)

Court Ruling:
Narragansett Tribe v. Rhode Island (May 12, 2005)

More on the Raid:
Video | Text: Gov. Carcieri's July 14 Press Conference | Text: Gov. Carcieri's July 15 Statement | Text: Excerpts of Narragansett Chief Sachem July 14 Press Conference

Relevant Laws:
Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Act (US Code)

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe -
Smoke Shop Showdown -

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