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State Police Intelligence Unit Arrests Thirteen Individuals, Dismantles a Large-Scale Organized Criminal Gambling Operation

Point of contact for this press release is: Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Field Operations, (401) 444-1002

Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announce the arrest of thirteen (13) individuals involved in an intricate, large-scale criminal gambling operation.

During the past several months, members of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit and the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General conducted an investigation into an illegal gambling operation being conducted in the northern area of Rhode Island. Various investigative measures were utilized including court-authorized wiretaps where approximately seventeen hundred (1,700) telephone calls and text messages were intercepted from December 29, 2013 through February 3, 2014. It is alleged that during these phone calls and text messages, approximately $130,000 of illegal sports wagers were accepted by the principal suspect in the investigation, David Ayotte, age 53, of 634 Old Smithfield Road, North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that Mr. Ayotte had operational control over a lucrative illegal bookmaking and gambling enterprise. Mr. Ayotte facilitated the exchange of illegal wagers on various sporting events. This organized criminal operation included several dozen other individuals, who placed various sports bets with Mr. Ayotte. The majority of those "bettors" were not involved in the multiple arrests today. The subjects arrested as a result of today's enforcement action, were identified as bookmakers or "bookies" who are alleged to have accepted illegal sports wagers from their own customers and "layed off" those bets to Mr. Ayotte.

Mr. Ayotte is a City of Woonsocket employee with the Parks and Recreation Department for more than (20) years. It is alleged that Mr. Ayotte routinely conducted his illicit business during the course of his shift with the Woonsocket Parks and Recreation.

During the early morning hours of February 4, 2014, members of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit and Detective Bureau executed four (4) court-authorized search warrants and thirteen (13) arrest warrants. This resulted in the seizure of approximately $260,000 in United States Currency, seven (7) firearms, two (2) motor vehicles, numerous betting slips, transaction ledgers and pool wagering cards.

Investigative members executed search warrants at the following locations:

  1. 1) 634 Old Smithfield Road, North Smithfield, RI
  2. 2) 80 Capwell Avenue, Woonsocket, RI
  3. 3) 11 Old Pound Hill Road, North Smithfield, RI
  4. 4) The Golden Advance Pawn Shop/Abel Check Cashing - 100 Bernon Street, Woonsocket, RI

The following individuals were arrested and arraigned in the Sixth District Court in Providence this afternoon before the Honorable Judge Terence L. Houlihan, Jr:

David P. Ayotte, age 53 of 634 Old Smithfield Rd., North Smithfield
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance

Cheryl Ayotte, age 49, of 634 Old Smithfield Rd., North Smithfield
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance

Jason Faford, age 39 of 80 Capwell Ave., Woonsocket
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance

Gregory Vartanian, age 57 of 3935 Diamond Hill Rd., Cumberland
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $20,000 with surety

Michael Massa, age 59 of 220 Crossing Dr., Apt. # 301, Cumberland
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $2,500 with surety. Also presented as a probation violator.

Wade Briggs, age 29 of 39 Monica Dr., Cumberland
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5000 personal recognizance

Dennis Gentile, age 65 of 23 Hemlock Dr., Glocester
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance

Roger Berube, age 60 of 75 Arnold Street, Woonsocket
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Bookmaking, 3) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance. Also presented as a probation violator.

Karl Allaire, age 50 of 11 Old Pound Hill Road, North Smithfield
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance

Robert Ledoux, age 51 of 4 Colerick Street, North Smithfield
Charges: 1) Organized Criminal Gambling, 2) Conspiracy
No plea entered, bail set at $5,000 personal recognizance

Douglas Plante, age 45 of 130 Summer Street, Woonsocket
Charge: 1) Bookmaking
Pled not guilty, $1,000 personal recognizance

Roger Roy, age 68 of 291 Bailey Street, Woonsocket
Charge: 1) Bookmaking
Pled not guilty, $1,000 personal recognizance

Thomas Ruo, age 58 of 191 Carnation Street, Woonsocket
Charge: 1) Bookmaking
Pled not guilty, $1,000 personal recognizance

The investigation is continuing and more arrests may be forthcoming.

Related links

Department or agency: Rhode Island State Police

Online: http://www.risp.ri.gov

Release date: 02-04-2014

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