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Police say gang member beat man with gun in Claremont

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/28/2020 10:16:27 PM
Modified: 1/28/2020 10:16:24 PM

CLAREMONT — A former Newport man who police say belongs to a national street gang is facing accusations he beat a man with a gun in Claremont, according to investigators.

Last week, a Sullivan Superior Court grand jury indicted Jacob Valley, 25, on charges of first- and second-degree assault, felonious use of a firearm, simple assault, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Valley, who also was indicted in December on a federal charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, is being held in federal custody as he awaits trials in the two cases.

The Sullivan County charges stem from an Oct. 29 incident when Valley allegedly beat and kicked 21-year-old Richard Gingras on Beechmont Street in Claremont, according to an affidavit written by Claremont Police Sgt. Justin Laffin.

Gingras told police that he used to sell drugs for Valley and that he owed Valley money prior to the incident, the affidavit said. That night, Gingras went to Beechmont Street to meet a family member, but realized the meeting was a “setup” when Valley stepped out from behind a car and grabbed him, according to police. Valley hit Gingras with the gun, kicked him in the head, threatened to shoot him and tried to get him into a car, according to the affidavit. Gingras broke away and ran into the woods, prompting Valley to drive off, according to police.

Valley was arrested Nov. 15, and his trial is scheduled for Aug. 3.

The Claremont arrest came around the same time as the federal investigation into Valley’s alleged firearm possession. Valley is barred from having a gun because he’s been convicted of several felonies including witness tampering and second-degree assault in 2014 and theft and receiving stolen property in 2016, according to a federal affidavit filed by ATF agent John Forte on Nov. 22. The affidavit said that Valley is a “known” member of the Gangster Disciples, which was originally formed in Chicago but has members in New Hampshire, according to the FBI.

Despite the convictions, investigators believe that Valley has been in possession of seven firearms over the past few years and has even displayed some of those firearms in social media posts and videos and in a music video made by his friend, according to the affidavit.

Federal agents filed charges against Valley on Nov. 27, and he was released from state custody and taken into federal custody that day. His trial in the federal case is scheduled for May 19.

According to police, Valley currently lives in Lempster, N.H., but he used to live in his mother’s home on Laurel Street in Newport until it burned down in January 2019.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or at 603-727- 3216.

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