Cops corral mislabled tobacco products, child pornography suspect in East Providence


EAST PROVIDENCE — In separate incidents Tuesday, April 30, the East Providence Police Department procured several thousands of dollars-worth of mislabled tobacco products while the Rhode Island State Police arrested a city man on child pornography charges.

A routine traffic stop turned out to be nothing but as an East Providence Police Captain Bruce Kidman attempted to pull over a driver for not wearing his seatbelt at approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Waterman and Taunton Avenues in the Six Corners section of the city.

The motorist continued driving his white, Chevy van with Massachusetts plates, turning onto nearby John Street. Before stopping, Capt. Kidman witnessed the driver throw out of the window what was eventually found to be a small package of marijuana.

After collecting the "pot" and then the man's driving information, Capt. Kidman performed the obligatory background check only to find the driver had an outstanding bench warrant issued in his name for failure to appear to answer a previous marijuana possession charge.

Upon inspection of the vehicle, Capt. Kidman and other members of the EPPD later to the scene discovered some 15 boxes of tobacco products, so-called "little cigars" with unauthorized tax stamps. Capt. Kidman said authorities believe the cigars were procured in Massachusetts with the intent to sell in Providence.

The suspect, Baqir Jaffrey, 30, of 7 Gooding St., Apartment first floor, Pawtucket, was then taken into custody, processed and released with a summons to appear in district court on yet another charge of marijuana possession. Charges for possession of the tobacco products are still pending. Capt. Kidman is working with the Rhode Island Department of Taxation to determine how to proceed on the matter.

Also Tuesday, the Rhode Island State Police announced the arrest of eight individuals on child pornography charges, including East Providence resident Rafael Melo.

Mr. Melo, 18, of 850 Broadway, Apartment 8, was among the suspects arrested upon the execution of a series of warrants state-wide by the State Police, department spokesman Lt. Todd Catlow said. Officers executed the arrest warrants Tuesday at 6 a.m. According to Lt. Catlow, police collected evidence in the form of computers and other related materials. The identities of the children involved were not known.

Three other East Bay area men were also arrested: Wilfred Garant, 72, of 93 Campion Ave., Tiverton, Michael Lund, 31, of 401 Market St., Unit 2, Warren, and John Licciardello, 57, of 65 Prospect St., Barrington.

Other suspects rounded up were George Duprey, 50, of 109 Greenslitt Ave., Pawtucket, Howard Gurney,70, of 16 Round Hill Rd., Foster, Santos Perez, 27, of 63 Algonquin St., Providence, and Christopher Anderson, 22, of 5 Kimball Ave., Johnston. The suspects were arraigned the same day.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.