Prominent New Bedford Area Men Allegedly Involved with Online Gun Raffles
A K-9 officer with the Bristol County Sheriff's Office has been revealed to be part of a secret Facebook group that has been illegally raffling off high-powered guns, along with other SouthCoast residents.
Boston's Channel 25 conducted an in-depth investigation that revealed Kenneth Almeida of the Sheriff's Office is one of the 800 members of the secret group, called "trust spot," that raffles off firearms, some of which are illegal to own in Massachusetts and require modifications.
When reached by WBSM News for comment on Almeida being involved with the Facebook gun auctions, Jonathan Darling, spokesman for the Bristol County Sheriff's Office, issued the following statement: “The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal investigation into the matter based on the report from Boston 25 and will take appropriate action based on the results."
According to 25 Investigates, the group also held a gun drawing in order to raise money for the campaign of a Republican state attorney general candidate, Dan Shores. One of the group members, Donny Vieira of New Bedford, openly wrote about raising funds for Shores through the raffles, and posted a photo of a receipt made to his campaign through the group's raffles.
Another SouthCoast figure was revealed by 25 Investigates to be part of the Facebook group. According to the report, Chris Resendes--a state trial court employee and online talk show host for New Bedford Guide--was named as a member who participates in the raffles. Resendes also donated $500 to Dan Shores in December, 25 Investigates reported.
Resendes also had Shores on his New Bedford Guide program recently, and the two discussed firearms on the show.
"I'm a gun guy," Resendes said. "But I'm also a guy who says, if you get caught illegally with a firearm, you should get the whole force of the law."
Michael Silvia, owner and operator of New Bedford Guide, released a statement Wednesday after being contacted by WBSM News about Resendes' alleged involvement of the secret Facebook group:
Chris Resendes has done a lot of good for the south coast, Massachusetts community with his weekly show on New Bedford Guide over the past few months to include promoting domestic violence awareness, showing positive actions by our youth in New Bedford, pushing hard to help a local woman in need of a kidney, helping provide dozens of kids from Puerto Rico with presents on Christmas and other actions that have a real positive impact on our community. From my standpoint, Chris has done nothing but good things for the local community. I suggest you visit New Bedford Guide’s Facebook page and search ‘Chris Resendes’ to see what his shows are about. His show, like most other live New Bedford Guide live shows, has been on pause for a few weeks for unrelated reasons. We are aware of Boston Channel 25’s report and will conduct our own internal investigation before taking any action regarding his future shows.
Video of Resendes' interview with Shores can be seen here: