A 34-year-old fugitive from Middleboro who was wanted for violating the terms of his probation connected to serious cases out of Plymouth County and the state of Montana was tracked down and apprehended in Smithfield, RI by members of the Massachusetts State Police Unit assigned to District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office.

Although the defendant, William Monopoli, was not wanted for any crimes in Bristol County, this office became involved in this matter because his probation supervision had been transferred to Bristol County.

On Tuesday afternoon, the District Attorney's office became aware of the fact that the defendant cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet during a high-speed chase with Lakeville Police on the evening of February 21. The defendant had been wanted at the time for violating the terms of his probation from a conviction for armed and masked robbery in Plymouth County by missing drug and alcohol screens, violation of GPS curfew and new motor vehicle offense.  The DA's office also learned that a 32-year-old Middleboro woman with connections to this defendant had recently been reported missing by her family.

Massachusetts State Police Troopers assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney's office immediately began investigating the matter in an effort to locate the defendant and the woman.  During the investigation, it was learned that the defendant and the woman had taken an Uber to the Riverview Inn & Suites in Somerset.

State Troopers and members of the Somerset Police Department traveled to the hotel and learned the defendant and the missing woman had checked out on February 24.  Investigators then developed information that the missing woman had recently used her phone in the Smithfield, RI area.

With the assistance of Smithfield Police, investigators were able to track the defendant and the missing woman to the Holiday Inn in Smithfield on Tuesday night and apprehend him without incident. The missing woman was also found with the defendant and was picked up by her mother.

The defendant, who has a lengthy history of arrests and convictions in Massachusetts and beyond, also goes by the alias William Burnham-Shurtleff.  After waving rendition in Rhode Island yesterday, he was brought before Fall River Superior Court Judge Raffi Yessayan late this afternoon and was ordered held without bail.  He will be back in court on March 25th for a final probation surrender hearing.

“ Although this defendant is not accused of crimes in Bristol County, I am very pleased with the rapid response by our state police unit to locate him, with the assistance of the Smithfield, RI Police Department and Somerset Police Department.  This is a very dangerous defendant who does not belong out on the street as evidenced by the high- speed chase that occurred in Plymouth County,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “This case again highlights the importance that I place on tracking down dangerous fugitives, and working together with other law enforcement agencies to hold these fugitives accountable and make our communities safer.”

Information from the Bristol County District Attorney's Office


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