Tribe mark 10 year anniversary of smoke shop raid
By Tiffany Choquette
Today marks 10 years since the State police raid on the
Narragansett Indian Tribe's smoke shop. The tribe is holding a remebrance ceremony this afternoon at the smoke shop location on Route 2 in Charlestown.
On July 14, 2003, more than two dozen troopers stormed the
shop on then–Governor Donald Carcieri's orders after the tribe started selling
tax–free cigarettes. Tribes people were
manhandled during the raid; seven of them were arrested. Troopers confiscated all the cigarettes and
nearly a thousand dollars in cash that day.
A federal appeals court judge eventually ruled the tribe had
been operating the smoke shop illegally.
Three tribe members were found guilty of either assault
or disorderly conduct in connection to the infamous raid, but none spent any
time in jail.
Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas and Randy Noka were given
community service. Hiawatha Brown was
sentenced to probation and ordered to take anger management courses.