A Rhode Island man who posed as a state trooper and staked out the Outlaw motorcycle club on School Street was fined and placed on unsupervised probation Friday.
William Burley, 25, of East Greenwich, R.I., had been watching the club's clubhouse for more than four hours when police found him with a badge and handgun strapped to his leg in March.
His uncle, state trooper Joseph Silva, was inside the house, according to police reports. Silva, 49, of Taunton, later told police he was trying to "clean up the bars in Taunton," police wrote.
Burley pleaded guilty in Taunton District Court to Taunton police charges of impersonating an officer and possessing a firearm without a identification card. A charge of possessing a large capacity firearm was dropped.
A plea deal between Burley's attorney, Rep. James Fagan, and prosecutor Jean Whitney requires Burley to pay $500 in court fees and spend one year on unsupervised probation.
Burley faced up to three years in jail on the charges. Fagan and Whitney both declined comment.
State police in Rhode Island charged Burley with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a silencer, following an attempted robbery in East Greenwich in May. Burley is next due in Kent County Superior Court Nov. 14.
Silva, meanwhile, faces a Taunton police charge of lying on an application for a firearm license. A Taunton resident, his gun license was revoked on March 20, the day Burley was arrested.
Early that morning, Taunton police were watching a West Britannia Street party thrown by the Outlaws. The party moved to the School Street house, according to police. Police found Burley in a car with tinted windows, facing the house.
Claiming he was with "special opps," Burley said Silva was undercover inside the clubhouse, according to a police report.
Police took Burley's gun, a Jennings 9 mm pistol he said his uncle gave him, according to the report.
Burley then called Silva to say "Get out of there now, return home," according to the report.
"I assumed that my uncle, being a trooper, he would protect me like he said he would," Burley wrote in a statement to police.
Police caught up with Silva at his home, where he appeared drunk, according to a police report.
In preparation for a defense of Burley, Fagan requested state police records about previous disciplinary action against Silva.
The former state trooper's gun license was suspended following a March 18 incident at the state police barracks in Middleboro, according to a letter Major Robert Mullen wrote to Silva on March 20.
"...the Department of State Police has grounds to believe...that you are not a suitable person to be issued a license to carry firearms," Mullen wrote.
Sgt. Scott Range, a spokesman for state police, said he could not discuss personnel matters.
When applying for a gun license in Taunton in May, Silva said his license had been taken while he was out on injury leave, according to a police report. Silva was placed on "restricted duty" March 21, meaning he was not allowed to carry a gun or drive a state police vehicle, Range said.
Silva retired on June 23. He is next due in court Dec. 12. He faces a mandatory six- month jail term or $500 fine if convicted, with a possibility of two years in jail.
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