Rhode Island traffic stop yields drugs, ‘cache of loaded weapons’

A traffic stop in Rhode Island last week netted a large quantity of drugs and a “cache of loaded weapons,” including pistols, rifles, a sawed-off shotgun and smoke grenades, authorities announced Tuesday.

Superintendent of the Rhode Island Police, Col. Ann C. Assumpico, said the seizure was the largest in recent memory.

“These lethal weapons posed a tremendous threat to everyone living, working or vacationing in Rhode Island,” Assumpico said. “We are extremely grateful to have these dangerous weapons off the streets, and we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these and other weapons cases.”

The bust happened just off Interstate 95 in Greenwich, where Charlotte resident Anthony Mondrez Thompson, 39, was pulled over for an unspecified “motor vehicle violation,” Lt. Col. Joe Philbin told Guns.com by phone Thursday.

During the stop, at about 7:55 p.m., a trooper asked Thompson if he had ever been convicted of a crime. Thompson lied about that and about having weapons in his vehicle. Upon running Thompson’s information, the trooper discovered he had a rather lengthy criminal record, “including multiple convictions for firearm and drug trafficking crimes,” Philbin said in a statement.

The trooper returned to Thompson’s vehicle and ordered him to get out. Thompson complied, but after further questioning Thompson allegedly “shoved” one of the troopers into the road and ran off toward the oncoming traffic lane.

“After allegedly failing to respond to repeated commands to stop running, one of the troopers deployed a Taser, causing Thompson to fall to the pavement,” Philbin said in a statement. “Thompson was transported by rescue to Kent County Hospital and later transferred to Rhode Island Hospital, where he remains under guard.”    

Thompson was arraigned Monday while still in the hospital and was ordered to be held without bail after.

“A subsequent search of Thompson’s vehicle resulted in the seizure of eight high-powered pistols, a revolver, two AR-15 assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, numerous high-capacity rifle and pistol magazines, boxes of ammunition, military-issued smoke grenades, holsters, camouflage gear and masks, night vision goggles and a Taser,” Philbin said in a statement. “Troopers also seized about 15 ounces of amphetamines (MDMA with the street names Molly and Ecstasy) with a street value of about $3,400.”

Thompson is facing 10 counts of carrying a pistol without a license, four counts of possessing a stolen firearm, possession of arms by a convict in a crime of violence, resisting arrest, simple assault, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, altering a firearm serial number, carrying loaded weapons in a car, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of explosives and noxious substances, carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a crime of violence, carrying a stolen firearm while committing a crime.

This seizure marks 78 weapons confiscated by Rhode Island Police since the beginning of the year, most of which the result of arrests on unrelated charges, Philbin said.