Narragansetts mount defense in state raid case

Seven members of the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island began their defense in the state's raid case.

Tribal Administrator Anthony Dean Stanton gave his description of the July 14, 2003, raid. He testified that state troopers stormed the reservation without showing warrants or other paperwork.

Stanton said he didn't observe any of the disorderly or resistive conduct alleged by the state. He questioned why state troopers were pushing a pregnant woman -- Bella Noka, the wife of council member Randy Noka -- and children.

At the time of the raid, the tribe maintained the state didn't have jurisdiction to shut down a smokeshop on the reservation. The federal courts later ruled the tribe has to comply with state laws.

The seven tribal members -- including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas -- have tried to get the charges dismissed but the judge refused.

Get the Story:
Tribal member recalls raid (The Providence Journal 3/21)

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