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North Adams Woman Found Guilty Of Social Security Fraud

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams woman was ordered to pay $72,635 back to the federal Social Security Agency after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits.
 
Nancy Killackey, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni on Monday to 18 months of probation and to pay the more than $70,000 in restitution. 
 
Killackey received the money from the agency by intentionally concealing the wages her husband earned. She collected the money from Jan. 1, 2002 through Oct. 1, 2013.  
 
On July 21, 2011, she told federal agents that the man was not her husband. When asked why he had claimed they were married, she described him as "a big, fat liar" and "an idiot off his medication," federal authorities said. She then claimed that the date her husband listed as their wedding date was actually a date he had a heart attack.
 
Killackey was found to have received the benefits that she was ineligible for when prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court in Springfield.
 
Edited at 12:37p.m., Aug. 13, to clarify the benefits were for disability.
     

Drury High Graduate Killed in Phoenix

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Drury High graduate was shot to death in her Phoenix, Ariz., home on Friday.

According Arizona media reports, the body of Shayley Estes, 22, was discovered by her roommate. Police have arrested her former boyfriend, Russian national Igor Zubko at Sky Harbor International Airport on Friday evening.

Estes had reportedly been dating Zubko and had allowed him to move into home for a time. Her mother, Shannon Estes, told news channel KPHO (CBS5AZ), that in living together, her daughter had seen "another side" of Zubko and broke up with him and took out a restraining order. He allegedly sent her threatening texts.

According to reports, a handgun and shell casings were found at the scene. Zubko apparently still had a key to her apartment and was waiting for her when she came home; she was shot when she tried to flee, according to police. KPHO reported that he told police he had purchased the gun off the Internet.

Zubko had a one-way ticket to San Francisco when he was apprehended, according to police. He was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, as well as burglary, kidnapping and several other related charges.

Estes was an honors student at Drury, graduating in 2011. She had recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in chemistry.

A gofundme account has been set up to help Estes' mother defray the cost of bringing her daughter back to the Berkshires for burial.

     

Four North Adams Residents Arrested in Two-State Drug Raid

Staff Reports

Update: On Tuesday, July 28, the Bennington Banner reported that Brooklynne Schneider had provided the Vermont Drug Task Force with information that resulted in the arrest of Kacey E. Caprari, 35, of North Adams on drug dealing charges.

Caprari was identified as a case worker with the Vermont Department of Children and Families. She allegedly was using her position to sell heroin out of the State Office Complex in Bennington.

Caprari was arraigned Tuesday in Vermont District Court in Bennington on felony charges of conspiracy to sell drugs and distribution of heroin. She was released on $5,000 bail, according to the Banner.


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police arrested four people on drug charges on Friday and recovered thousands of bags heroin and cocaine and cash.

The arrests were the result of multiple warrants simultaneously executed in North Adams, Holyoke and Stephentown, N.Y., on Friday "after a lengthy investigation into the distribution of narcotics."

Arrested in North Adams were Brooklynne R. Schneider, 21; Rosemaria H. Thorton, 67; Tre A. Amos, 22; and Johnathan J. Loring, 21.

Schneider, Thorton and Loring are each facing counts of possession to distribute a Class A drug (heroin) and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.

Amos is charged with the same violations and also faces charges of possession of Class B drug (cocaine).

Seized were more than 7,500 bags of heroin, 36 grams of cocaine and more than $5,000 in cash.

North Adams Police Department made the local arrests with the assistance and cooperation of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, Holyoke Police Department, Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Schneider was arrested in February 2014 in relation to an investigation into a drug ring from Holyoke. Schnieder was a passenger in the car of Joshua S. Bressette, murdered a month later in the Bronx, that was stopped by police on Mohawk Forest Blvd. Police say she had dozens of bags of heroin and cocaine on her person; she was later arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on drug charges.

Bressette was also charged and three others in a second car were also arrested on drug charges: Jordan Moon, 26, and Kassidy LeMire, 19, both of North Adams, and Kamil Kujawa, 23, a Polish national living in North Adams.

Kujawa, Moon and LeMire all pleaded guilty; Kujawa is serving a two to three-year sentence, Moon and LeMire were given probation.

     

North Adams Police Seeking Robbery Suspect

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are looking for man suspected of robbing Whitney's Beverage Shop and injuring an employee on Wednesday.
 
According to police, a man entered the stored armed with a folding knife and demanded money from the clerk. At some point, a physical altercation ensued between the clerk and the suspect, during which the suspect slashed the clerk with the knife. The suspect fled the establishment, last seen heading southbound from the Oasis Plaza.
 
The shop reported the robbery at 12:57 p.m. Police have not released information on what, if anything, had been stolen.

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid 20s, standing approximately 5-foot-6, with brown hair, and wearing a blue T-shirt and blue jeans.

This is an active and ongoing investigation that will continue until the suspect is identified and apprehended. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the North Adams Police Department at 413-664-4944, Ext. 1, or leave a private message on the department's Facebook page.

     

North Adams Police Investigating Theft of Veteran's ATV

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are searching for an all-terrain vehicle stolen from a local World War II veteran.

The theft was reported by the 99-year-old veteran on Friday morning.

The 1987 Suzuki 4-Wheeler, orange in color and with a plow attached, was taken from a residence on lower Furnace Street. The theft occurred sometime in the past two weeks.

Police declined to expand on the theft, saying the incident is under investigation.

However, the department's posting on Facebook seeking information on the incident stated the 4-wheeler was very important to the victim. Though it hadn't been used in a while, "itt was an symbol of independence to him as the victim no longer is able to drive a vehicle," the post read.

North Adams Police are asking anyone with any information regarding the matter contact the station at 413-664-4944, Ext. 4209.

     
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