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North Adams Police Nab Suspected Heroin Dealers

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Police have arrested two people after a motor vehicle stop early Thursday morning uncovered nearly 1,000 bags of heroin.

Officers and detectives executed a motor vehicle stop on Blackinton Street at approximately 12:55 a.m. on a red Chrysler sedan bearing Massachusetts registration 648EL9.

The operator of the motor vehicle was identified as Courtney Schnopps, 21, of Protection Avenue, who was found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest. The passenger of the vehicle was identified as 22-year-old Matthew Capek of Blackinton Street.

Officers on scene had prior information from confidential informants that Schnopps and Capek were traveling to Hartford, Conn., to purchase a large quantity of heroin and transport it back to North Adams for sale. Schnopps and Capek were separated and, according to police, gave elusive answers that were not corroborated.

A K9 was uncovered bags of heroin in the vehicle and Schnopps and Capek also had heroin found on them during their arrest, said police, that matched the same packaging found in the vehicle. Some 990 bags of heroin were seized, with a street value of about $9,740.

There was no money or drug paraphernalia located in the vehicle.

Police said Schnopps and Capek both admitted under questioning to making a trip to Hartford. Capek claimed that the amount of heroin found in the vehicle was for his own personal use, according to police.

Bail for Capek was set at $2,000  and Schnopps was held without bail due to the outstanding warrant.

Both will be charged with possession with intent to distribute Class A substance and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

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Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 21 - Sept. 25

Staff Reports

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, Sept. 21.

Christopher Therrien, 27, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of trafficking in heroin.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $7,500 cash or $75,000 surety bail.

The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at his Union Street home on August 18, 2015.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Rickey Williams, 38, of Bronx, N.Y. pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

He was ordered to serve concurrent four to eight years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the drug charges. He was given concurrent time at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the motor vehicle offense.

The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on November 20, 2014.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Sept. 24.

Eric Daigle, 37, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 10 counts of rape of a child with force, and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100 bail because he is currently serving time on an unrelated matter.
Daigle is accused of sexually assaulting a man, who is now 18, in Pittsfield and in Adams between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008.

Kevin Fowler, 45, of Rocky Hill, Conn. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 11 counts of larceny, 11 counts of uttering, and 11 counts of forgery.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $30,000 cash or $300,000 surety bail.

Fowler is accused of creating false checks totaling $27,967 and cashing them in Berkshire County between June 4, 2015 and June 6, 2015.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, Sept. 25.

Scott Kennedy, 30, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault by means of a dangerous weapon.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on September 7, 2015. The alleged victim is a 37-year-old woman.

Jose Rios, 52, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of rape and assault and battery.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on August 30, 2015. The alleged victim is a 32-year-old woman.

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North Adams Cruiser Involved in Crash; Officer Injured

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local police officer was taken to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon after his cruiser was involved in a collision on Church Street.

School Resource Officer Fran Maruco was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he was treated for contusions and a head injury.

North Adams Police posted an update on its Facebook page later in the evening:

"Just an update on the m/v accident involving Officer Maruco. He is doing pretty well. Several bumps and bruises, very sore. Checked out at BMC. Should be returning home soon. The driver of the other vehicle is expected to be OK, too. A speedy recovery to all. Thank you for your thoughts and best wishes."

The two-car accident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. at the intersection of Church and West Shaft Road. Maruco was reportedly leaving Drury High School and heading north. The state police accident reconstruction team was at the scene and state police were assisting with traffic control.

The front of the North Adams cruiser was heavily damaged, and the impact appeared to be on the front driver's side. The second car, a Mercury sport-utility vehicle, also sustained heavy front-end driver's side damage, with the front panel torn from the car. The windshield was fractured on the driver's side.

Church Street was closed to through traffic from Hodges Cross Road to Ashland Street for several hours during the investigation. West Shaft Road was also closed.

The detours slowed traffic to a crawl along State Street, with cars backed up past Walmart on Curran Highway to the south.

No further information was immediately available.

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Three Utility Poles Fall As Result of Pittsfield Car Crash

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
The gold car was seen by witnesses driving into the poles as it crossed the median.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A mid-day accident ripped out three utility poles from the center median of West Street.
Police refused to comment on the accident but witnesses at the scene said a gold Pontiac sped over the median near the intersection of West Street and Center Street.
The car then proceeded toward Park Square, taking out a total of three metal utility poles along the median, and ultimately was stopped when it crashed into parked cars parked along the westbound lane.
The Pontiac suffered damaged to both the front, hood, and roof. The driver's side door of a gray Toyota was caved in, as was the front bumper of another Toyota. All three vehicles were towed from the scene.
On scene, officers searched the Pontiac and pulled a number of items, which appeared to be drug paraphernalia, from the vehicle. The driver was placed in handcuffs and placed in the back of a cruiser.
City workers also responded to the scene quickly and a half-dozen trucks or so were on scene cleaning up the debris from the poles. Eversource was also on scene. The poles held streetlights and it is unclear what, if any, other utilities were supported by the poles.
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Two Pittsfield Firefighters Hurt Fighting Apartment Building Fire

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Two families are displaced after a fire in a Circular Avenue apartment building.
Fire officials said heavy fire was found on the first floor about 5 p.m. Saturday. Residents were reported to still be inside, on the second floor. Firefighters faced the heavy fire conditions and searched the second floor but the report turned out to be false.
One firefighter suffered an elbow strain and another suffered symptoms of smoke inhalation. Both were evaluated and released from Berkshire Medical Center.
The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents. A dog was also rescued and give CPR by Action Ambulance paramedics and transported to Berkshire Veterinary Hospital. 
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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Adams Community Bank President Named Head of Mass Bankers Association Board
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Pittsfield Cooperative Bank Names Chief Information Officer

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