State Police seize cache of high-power weaspons

RISP Weapons Cache


State Police seized a cache of loaded weapons, including high-powered pistols and rifles and a sawed-off shotgun, as well as a large quantity of illegal drugs, during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 in West Greenwich last week.  The driver, a North Carolina resident, was arrested on numerous weapons and drug charges.  Troopers also seized ammunition, smoke grenades, assorted camouflage gear, night vision goggles and a Taser, according to Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety.  The driver of the car, identified as Anthony Mondrez Thompson, 39, of Charlotte, N.C., was ordered held without bail following his arraignment Monday at Rhode Island Hospital, where he was being treated for injuries he suffered while attempting to flee from the troopers.  Assumpico said the case involves one of the largest seizures of weapons during a traffic stop in recent memory.  She credited the troopers who made the arrest, saying they clearly prevented these dangerous high-powered weapons from reaching the streets of Rhode Island and Southeastern New England.  “These lethal weapons posed a tremendous threat to everyone living, working or vacationing in Rhode Island,” Assumpico said in a prepared statement.  “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.”  With this seizure, Rhode Island State Police have seized 78 weapons since Jan. 1, most as the result of arrests on unrelated charges.  Thompson’s arrest stemmed from a traffic stop on Interstate 95 North in West Greenwich about 7:55 p.m. on Thursday.  While handing over his license and car registration Thompson denied to the trooper that he had ever been convicted of a crime, and he further denied that his vehicle contained firearms or illicit drugs.  During a check of Thompson’s license, registration and criminal background, the trooper determined that Mondrez had a lengthy criminal record, including multiple convictions for firearm and drug trafficking crimes.  The trooper ordered Thompson to exit the vehicle, which he did.  However, during further questioning by troopers, Thompson allegedly shoved one of the troopers into the roadway, where the trooper was in danger of being struck by oncoming traffic, and he took off on foot, running across the highway, toward the oncoming traffic in the high-speed lane of Interstate 95.  After failing to respond to repeated commands to stop running, one of the troopers deployed a Taser, causing Thompson to fall to the pavement.  Thompson was transported by rescue to Kent County Hospital and later transferred to Rhode Island Hospital, where he remains under guard.  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. Troopers also seized about 15 ounces of amphetamines (MDMA with the street names Molly and Ecstasy) with a street value of about $3,400.