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RISP: Bounty hunters arrested for illegally detaining suspect

Authorities said Angel Guadalupe, 45, of Bristol, and William Sobota, 40, of Burlington, appeared in District Court in Providence, where they faced kidnapping and conspiracy charges. (Police photos)

Two Connecticut bounty hunters were arrested Thursday for illegally apprehending a suspect wanted on a warrant, according to Rhode Island State Police.

Authorities said Angel Guadalupe, 45, of Bristol, and William Sobota, 40, of Burlington, appeared in District Court in Providence, where they faced kidnapping and conspiracy charges.

Col. Ann C. Assumpico said the men "detained the suspect based on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for misdemeanor crimes in Connecticut. However, Rhode Island General Laws do not allow for out-of-state bounty hunters to operate in this state."

Lt. Col. Kevin Barry of the Rhode Island State Police shared similar sentiments.

"A trooper working the security detail was alerted that somebody just got handcuffed in the hallway," Barry told NBC 10 News. "That's not how the protocols happen. Nobody gets handcuffed or transported in the hallways."

State police put out an alert and stopped the bounty hunters, who were headed south on Interstate-95, where they arrested them.

But a lawyer for the bounty hunters said they had the authority to do what they did and even had help from authorities doing it.

"My clients were informed by Capitol Police with whom they were working that they could take this gentleman with them to the jurisdiction of Connecticut, where he is a fugitive from justice, and bring him back lawfully," Ryan McGuigan, a defense attorney told NBC 10 via phone. "It was the Capitol Police who took my clients' handcuffs, placed them on the subject, and escorted the subject to my clients' waiting automobile."

While McGuigan said a federal law dating back nearly 150 years allows bounty hunters to cross state lines, police don't see it that way.

"Rhode Island law does not have a law that allows out of state bounty hunters to come in," Barry said.

Guadalupe and Sobota were released on personal recognizance, and the suspect was also released without incident.

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