Narragansett smokeshop case moved to new court

Seven members of the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island won a motion to transfer their criminal case to a new court, The Providence Journal reports.

The seven defendants -- including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas -- were arrested during the state's violent raid of a tribal smokeshop on June 14, 2003. They face various charges of resisting arrest, assault and disorderly conduct.

The trial was to take place in Washington County but the tribal members were worried about getting a fair trial. The judge agreed to move the case to Providence, the state capitol, but said he was doing so to conserve judicial resources.

The seven defendants are seeking trial at the same time. The judge didn't rule on the request.

The case had been on hold pending resolution of the tribe's federal lawsuit against the state. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state was justified in raiding the smokeshop in order to impose state taxes on the tribe. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case.

Get the Story:
Smoke-shop raid case moved to Providence court (The Providence Journal 3/6)

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe -

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