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21 Charged in Drug, Weapons Sweep

21 Charged in Drug, Weapons Sweep


(SN) WE’RE ALSO WORKING NEW DETAILS TONIGHT — ON A SWEEPING POLICE BUST THAT WAS FIRST BREAKING ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT NOON. (KW) NEARLY TWO DOZEN PEOPLE ARRESTED — IN CONNECTION WITH A FIREARMS AND DRUG RING THAT POLICE SAY WAS DIRECTLY LINKED TO MULTIPLE SHOOTINGS IN PROVIDENCE THIS YEAR. (SN) HERE THEY ARE … 21 SUSPECTS IN ALL. EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER ANITA BAFFONI JOINS US NOW WITH NEW INFORMATION. IT WAS A THREE MONTH LONG WIRETAP INVESTIGATION THAT LED TO THE ARRESTS OF WHAT POLICE ARE CALLING A GROUP OF VERY VIOLENT CRIMINALS. TWO RECENT SHOOTINGS IN PROVIDENCE ARE LINKED TO THE ARREST OF 21 PEOPLE IN A STING DUBBED “OPERATION HEAT.” THE FIRST WAS OUTSIDE CLUB SEVEN ON SPRUCE STREET WHERE TWO PEOPLE WERE SHOT IN MAY. THE SECOND SHOOTING WAS OUTSIDE A BAR ON PUBLIC STREET WHERE ONE PERSON WAS INJURED. “We interuptted a very violent group and prevented further violence from happening.” POLICE ALLEGE THE GROUP WAS ALSO INVOLVED IN DEALING DRUGS AND TRANSPORTING FIREARMS. THEY IDENTIFY THE RING LEADER AS 32 YEAR OLD JANSSYE TOUCET OF NORTH PROVIDENCE WHO HAS A LENGTHY CRIMINAL RECORD. THIS IS VIDEO FROM 2018 OF TOUCET IN COURT IN AN UNRELATED CASE. POLICE SAY TOUCET ORCHESTRATED AND CONSPIRED TO EXECUTE SHOOTINGS OF RIVALS — AND DIRECTED THE DISTRBUTION OF ILLEGAL DRUGS. “It’s a group on individuals that worked off intimidation to fuel their distribution of narcotics and fire arms.” 45 SEARCH WARRANTS AND NEARLY 19-THOUSAND CALLS AND TEXT MESSAGES WERE INTERCEPTED BY POLICE — WHICH HELPED IN THE ARREST OF THE ALLLEGED CRIMINALS — RANGING IN AGE FROM 18 TO 49 YEARS OLD. DRUGS INCLUDING FENTANYL AND HEROIN, HANDGUNS AND NEARLY 50-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CASH WERE SEIZED. FEDERAL AND LOCAL POLICE WERE PART OF THE INVESTIGATION, IN ADDITION TO THE STATE POLICE DRUG TRAFFICKING UNIT. “This is a group of very violent individuals that if this went unchecked would have gone in other communities.” COMING UP NEW AT 6, HEAR WHY POLICE SOUGHT A COURT ORDERED “TITLE THREE” WIRE TAP INVESTIGATION THAT WAS USED IN THIS CASE. I’M ANITA BAFFONI, EYEWITNESS NEWS. NEWS. (KW) ALSO DEVELOPING TONIGHT — STATE POLICE SAY MORE ARRESTS ARE LIKELY, FOLLOWING A MAJOR OPERATION THAT’S LED TO CHARGES AGAINST NUMEROUS SUSPECTS. (SN) EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER ANITA BAFFONI JOINS US LIVE IN STUDIO WITH NEW DETAILS ON THE INVESTIGATION. STATE POLICE USED WHAT’S CALLED A “TITLE THREE” WIRE TAP INVESTIGATION IN A STING DUBBED “OPERATION HEAT.” A GROUP OF NEARLY TWO DOZEN PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED AS A RESULT — FOR THEIR ROLE IN THE ALLEGED POSSESSION AND TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS — CONNECTED TO TWO RECENT SHOOTINGS IN THE CAPITAL CITY. A TOTAL OF 21 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED IN OPERATION HEAT, THEIR AGES RANGE FROM 18 TO 49 YEARS OLD. “This is a group of very violent individals that if this went unchecked would have gone in other communities.” POLICE IDENTIFY THE RING LEADER AS 32 YEAR OLD JANSSYE TOUCET OF NORTH PROVIDENCE WHO HAS A LENGTHY CRIMINAL RECORD. THEY SAY TOUCET ORCHESTRATED AND CONPSIRED TO EXECUTE SHOOTINGS OF RIVALS — AND DIRECTED THE DISTRBUTION OF ILLEGAL DRUGS. POLICE WERE GRANTED A COURT ORDERED “TITLE THREE” WIRE TAP INVESTIGATION WHICH RESULTED IN 45 SEARCH WARRANTS AND NEARLY 19-THOUSAND INTERCEPTED CALLS AND TEXT MESSAGES. “This group, particularly Mr. Toucet who is the leader, insulated himself very well. That was difficult to prove unless we had additional information which si why we applied for a Title 3.” TO GET A TITLE THREE, POLICE NEED TO PROVE TO A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE THAT THEY HAVE USED ALL OTHER AVENUES AND INVESTIGATIVE TOOLS. “We felt we exhausted all levels of routine methods of investigation and surveillance, informants- all the techniques available to us. ” POLICE SAY THEY INTERCEPTED CONVERSATIONS WHERE THE SUSPECTS DISCUSSED HOME INVASIONS, THE SALE OF GUNS AND ROBBERIES. ONE OF THE SHOOTINGS CONNECTED TO THE TOUCET WAS OUTSIDE CLUB SEVEN IN MAY WHERE TWO PEOPLE WERE INJURED. THE CLUB WAS TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF THE SHOOTING BUT THE BOARD OF LICENSES DISMISSED THE VIOLATION, FINDING THAT THE SHOOTING WAS NOT CONNECTED TO

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