Judge sets January trial date for Narragansett smoke shop case

Providence, Rhode Island (AP) 11-07

The trial for seven Narragansetts accused of scuffling with police during a raid on a tribal smoke shop is scheduled for early next year.

Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl says jury selection will start January 7 – unless both sides reach a plea deal first.

The defendants, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, are charged with offenses ranging from assault to resisting arrest.

They were arrested four years ago when State Police raided a tribal smoke shop that was not collecting state-mandated taxes. Federal courts later decided the shop was operating illegally.

Thomas and the other defendants say police ignored orders from Governor Don Carcieri and used too much force.