Prosecution rests in trial over Narragansett smoke shop raid

Providence, Rhode Island (AP) 3-08

Prosecutors have wrapped up their criminal case against seven Narragansetts after more than two weeks of trial testimony.

Attorneys for the seven defendants, including Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, started to call their witnesses as of March 19.

The defendants are on trial in Superior Court because they allegedly fought or resisted state police who raided a tribal smoke shop in 2003 that was not collecting state taxes. They are charged with misdemeanor crimes ranging from disorderly conduct to assault.

Each charge carries a maximum one-year prison sentence.

Jurors heard testimony from a State Police trooper who said that defendant Bella Noka jumped on his back and tried to gouge his eye. Defense lawyers have argued that police used too much force enforcing tobacco laws.