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Police: City Employee Ran Lucrative Gambling Ring while on the Job

Woonsocket Dept. of Parks and Recreation was allegedly the ringleader. Thirteen arrested in State Police sweep on Tuesday.

A more than 20-year member of the Woonsocket Parks and Recreation Department is facing a host of charges stemming from allegations that he ran a lucrative gambling and bookmaking business, often while on duty at his city job.

The Rhode Island State Police announced the arrest of 13 people in connection with the "intricate, large-scale criminal gambling operation" and said David Ayotte, 53, of 634 Old Smithfield Road, North Smithfield, was its ringleader.

The investigation began months ago and police tapped about 1,700 phone calls and tex messages between Dec. 29 and Feb. 3. During that time, about $130,000 in sports wagers were accepted by Ayotte, police said.

Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that Mr. Ayotte had operational control the bookmaking enterprise. He was arrested along with 13 other people who police said worked as bookies on Tuesday when members of the State Police Intelligence Unit and Detective Bureau executed search and arrest warrants.

Police searched two residences in North Smithfield, an address in Woonsocket and The Golden Advance Pawn Shop/Abel Check Cashing on Bernon Street in Woonsocket. They seized $260,000 in cash, seven guns, two cars, numerous betting slips, ledgers and wagering cards.

Here's a list of everyone arrested:

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.

Dagny Taggart February 05, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Good old Woonsocket. Did we ever get the money back from the City Clerk who took almost half a million from the City? Now we have another City employee making book....probably during work hours which were paid for by us embattled tax payers. What a great place.
Morris Minor February 05, 2014 at 05:04 PM
At least someone was winning money. Not like the RI Lottery who can legally steal from us. Its a joke. Legalize them. Let them pay taxes.
Chris12 February 05, 2014 at 05:15 PM
"...he ran a lucrative gambling and bookmaking business, often while on duty at his city job." This guy gives new meaning to "living wage.
Oreo February 05, 2014 at 07:33 PM
It would be great if they would release the Phone List!
Oreo February 05, 2014 at 07:40 PM
State police say the investigation is continuing, and more arrests may be forthcoming.
RBeau February 05, 2014 at 09:27 PM
Is it just me or doesnt it seem fishy that Rocky Baldelli wasnt arrested. There is no way in the world that all this was going on in his shop where he spends most of his time and he didnt know it was going on. They seized HIS business computers $100 grand in cash and stuff from HIS safe, and yet he's not brought in even for questioning?? And then the Call reports that as soon as the state police left, Mayor Baldelli shows up down there?? And then refuses to comment. No way. Something smells!
lew pryeor February 06, 2014 at 04:47 AM
of the 13 any political contributers
Uncle Ben February 06, 2014 at 07:47 AM
I don't see the point of hiring someone from another town outside Woonsocket to work in this City, Jobs here should be for the " Local residents " not out of townees that hate Woonsocket's tax rates. Those are the first ones who mess up. Look at the " Dog officer " he's a Cumberland resident, and there may be many more. The Mayor should go through the whole list of Employees and rid of all the out of townees.
RonW February 06, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Uncle Ben- That would make The Woonsocket Police & Fire almost non-existence.
MJ February 06, 2014 at 09:04 AM
You have a good point. When outsiders are hired they command high salaries, great benefits from a city that cannot afford it. then go home to Cumberland or North Smithfield where they are paying less in taxes & actually believe they are better than the Woonsocket residents paying higher taxes to pay their salaries. This should not just be a Woonsocket story (to us another black eye). It should be a No.Smithfield story, after all, The house of the ringleader was raided in No. Smithfield.
jde February 06, 2014 at 09:35 AM
I believe there used to be residency requirements for teachers and I think for the fire and police departments. The argument against them has always been that the pool of applicants from Woonsocket didn't provide either enough candidates or enough who were qualified. Why they couldn't hire someone who lived out of town and have establishing residency as a requirement is beyond me. Maybe someone can shed some light...
MJ February 06, 2014 at 09:54 AM
There was a residency requirement, but just like everything else, there were exemptions, Then no one really cared & it went to the way sides. Just like the school dress code was ignored, then a uniform policy was implimented & that too is done away with. We have laws about cars registered in another state to avoid high taxes in Woonsocket, well, as long as they are not parked on the street the authorities don't care. Now you have a city employee making book during work time, what do you think will come of that???
MJ February 06, 2014 at 10:13 AM
jde, "the pool of applicants from Woonsocket didn't provide either enough candidates or enough who were quaulifed." That is one hell of a statement. If that is the case, we should all be ashamed. That only goes to say that the education department in Woonsocket has failed us. I am not blaming the teachers, I know that there are a lot of great teachers @ the high school. I also believe that there is a application fee around $60.00, this should be waived for Woonsocket residents. As tax paying citizens, we should take a stand & take our city back.
tracy victor February 06, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Lol to these articles being passed around an fyi on this so called ring leader he was born and raised in woonsocket and only moved to ns a couple years ago he is nothing like these suped up articles portray him as ...
Marcel Foisy February 06, 2014 at 03:17 PM
The Woonsocket residency requirement was abolished after a binding referendum was voted on during the 1998 city election. I believe it was passed quite handily. The city council had no choice but to change the requirement as approved by the majority. In other news, gambling happens everywhere.
none of your business February 06, 2014 at 04:27 PM
Nevermind the residency sh#t! I been in this crooked city over 40 years and nothing has changed. From crooked cops like turgeon, marzini, rondeau, san sousi, renaud, hebert, lee, kamer, etc etc... But their heroes to the gullible woon. Residents. Wake up!!! They are all criminals. Did you ever say hi ir wave to a woon cop? They look at you like they wana kill you. They are not heroes here to serve us, they are here to harass us and act like the children they are. Whichbrings me to
none of your business February 06, 2014 at 04:30 PM
...our lovely mayors. Another woman mayor who is well known in the city with a past full of drugs, drinking and sleeping around. Help us god
virgil earp February 06, 2014 at 06:40 PM
Hey "none," while you may think you are anonymous when you post on forums, you are not. When you libel people -- as you most certainly have -- the victims can obtain a warrant demanding that the host reveal the source of the comments, so that a suit can be filed. Good luck!
Dagny Taggart February 07, 2014 at 12:02 AM
Actually Virgil Earp, if they are a "public servant" , that is not true. You are not under the same guidelines as if you were to libel or slander the every day person. The standards of law are different. Sorry if you may be disappointed to understand this difference.
RBeau February 07, 2014 at 07:53 AM
@LewPryor I looked on the states website and saw that at least one of the guys arrested who was Rocky's employee gave her $1000 for her camapign along with 2 other "employees" of Rocky's business who also gave her $1000 a piece in addidtion to Rocky with another $1000. A little weird that these "employees" can afford to give $1000 you think ??
Bing kubaska February 07, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Kinda glad I moved to Chepachet 26 years ago! However, I know Lisa personnally and can only hope that she is as good a mayor as she is a person. Good Luck girl!
A724999 February 09, 2014 at 09:40 PM
Dear RBeau, I can understand your suspicions about Rocky's involvement. However, as a primary source to this entire mess, you're mistaken. Rocky, and some of the other employees "involved", are hard-working and honest individuals. They were simply placing bets mostly on their own time. Why is it so hard to believe that Rocky had no knowledge? The alleged ring leader didn't work for him. Also, the 100 grand seized was the shop's money and was completely unrelated to the gambling. It's unfortunate that the people involved decided to take part in illegal gambling. With that being said, it's not fair to throw Rocky under the bus as well. He's a loyal friend and very generous person. Which also explains the $1000 the employees gave out for that campaign. How Rocky manages his employees financially is none of our business and I won't divulge any information regarding that. Just know that he takes care of his own. Sincerely, Annoyed
Chris12 February 10, 2014 at 07:57 AM
A724999 - Perception is everything...ask any politician
virgil earp February 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Chris, which politicians should we ask? Should we ask politicians with friends and relatives in the Millbilly Mafia?
virgil earp February 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM
Tracy Victor, if there is no Millbilly Mafia, how can there be a ring leader?

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