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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.

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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