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Three More Arraigned in Martin Murder

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two more people were arraigned Monday morning in the murder of 26-year-old Jahda M. Martin, who was stabbed outside a Pittsfield nightspot in the early hours of March 6, 2010. Martin later died of his injuries at Berkshire Medical Center.

Allen McGraw, 26, was arrested Sunday and Crystal Gonzalez, 21, on Friday evening. They both appeared before Judge Frederic Rutberg in Central Berkshire District Court.

McGraw, of Kingston, N.Y., had not-guilty pleas entered in his behalf on single counts of murder and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Rutberg ordered him held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail. He is scheduled to appear in district court for a pretrial hearing on April 8.

Gonzalez, of Springfield, had not-guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of accessory after the fact to murder and accessory after the fact to assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. She was ordered held at the House of Correction on $25,000 bail. She is scheduled back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 14.

Police say McGraw, Terrance W. Brown, Trevor L. Pryce Jr. and John C. Spratling stabbed and assaulted Martin in the Burger King parking lot by Wendell Avenue Extension. Martin, of Hamlin Street, Pittsfield, was a star athlete at Lee High School, from which he graduated in 2002. He later attended Long Island (N.Y.) University.

Brown, 26, was arrested in Springfield on the night of March 10 and returned to Pittsfield on Thursday morning, when he was charged on single counts of murder and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. He had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf and was ordered, also by Rutberg, to be held at the House of Correction with out right to bail. Brown is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on April 8.

It is alleged that Gonzalez was operating the vehicle carrying Brown when he was arrested in Springfield on the Pittsfield warrant.

Pryce and Spratling were arraigned on March 8.

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Two Charged in Pittsfield Stabbing

Staff Reports

Updated 3:17 p.m., March 8: Two men were arrested and charged with the Saturday morning stabbing death of Jahda M. Martin.

Trevor L. Pryce Jr., 28, of Spring Street, North Adams, and John C. Spratling, 26, of Cherry Street, Pittsfield, were arraigned on single counts each of murder and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

The two appeared before Judge Paul Vrabel on Monday morning in Central Berkshire District Court. Both had not-guilty pleas entered on their behalf and were ordered held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail.

They are scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on April 8.

Investigators have also applied for and received an arrest warrant for 26-year-old Terrance W. Brown in connection with Martin's death.

An autopsy to determine the cause of Martin's death has not yet been scheduled.

Once a star athlete at Lee High School, the 2002 graduate had also played basketball while attending Long Island University.

Pittsfield Man Slain in Stabbing

Original post, March 7, 9:42 a.m.: A Pittsfield man died Saturday evening after apparently being stabbed earlier Saturday in an altercation near the Burger King on First Street.
 
The Berkshire district attorney's office said that Jahda M. Martin, 26, of Hamlin Street, was rushed to Berkshire Medical Center by ambulance in the early morning hours after police received several 911 calls at about 1:40 a.m. reporting a stabbing in the fast-food restaurant's parking lot on Wendell Avenue Extension. Police and emergency medical technicians found Martin at the scene.

The Berkshire Eagle reported that the lot is commonly used for parking by patrons of nearby Club Groove and that police said Martin had left the bar when the altercation occurred. This is the city's first homicide of the year.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Holyoke. The date and time of the autopsy have yet to be determined.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have information regarding this incident to call the Pittsfield Police Department at 413-448-9700.
 
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department, state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, state police from the Crime Scene Services Section and members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force. 

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Drug Ring Suspects Arraigned in Pittsfield

Staff Reports

Eight people, arrested after early morning drug raids Wednesday in Pittsfield, Richmond and Adams were arraigned before Judge Rita Koenigs on Wednesday afternoon in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield.

Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said those arraigned Wednesday were arrested in the culmination of the first phase of a large-scale, ongoing investigation. He said additional warrants and arrests are expected. According to Capeless, investigators have seized more than 150 grams of cocaine,  more than 25 pounds of high-grade marijuana, over 100 oxycontin pills, methadone tablets, one .380 caliber handgun and $50,000 in cash.

Those arraigned were:

Michael Cargill, 34, of Swamp Road, Richmond: Single counts of trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine), possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws (possession of marijuana with intent to distribute).

Richard B. Carnevale Jr., 31, Brown Street, Pittsfield: Not-guilty pleas entered on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine), trafficking in OxyContin, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws (possession of marijuana with intent to distribute)

Both men were ordered held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $500,00 bail and both will be back in court on March 8 for clarification of counsel.

Michael King, 52, of Elm Street, Adams: Single counts of trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine).

Shane Whalen, 30, Dalton Avenue, Pittsfield: Not-guilty pleas entered on single counts of trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine).

Both King and Whalen were ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 bail and to return to court on March 8 for clarification of counsel.

David B. LaPlante, 31, Orchard Street, Pittsfield: Single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine), possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card.

Koenigs ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 bail. He, too, will be back in court on March 8 for clarification of counsel.

Tracey Gagne, 48, Elm Street, Adams: Not-guilty pleas entered on single counts of trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine),

She was ordered held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail and will be back in court on March 8 for clarification of counsel.

Frank LeClair, 49, Goodman Lane, Pittsfield: Single counts of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws (possession of marijuana with intent to distribute).

Koenigs ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. He will be back in court on March 29 for a pretrial hearing.

Katie Lynne Powers, 24, Swamp Road, Richmond: Not-quilty pleas entered for single counts of trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws (trafficking in cocaine) and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.

Koenigs ordered that she be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. She will be back in court on March 29 for a violation of probation.
 
The investigation is being conducted by the Berkshire County Drug Task Force and state and federal investigators.

 

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Pittsfield Men Charged With Heroin Trafficking

Staff Reports

State police report they arrested three Pittsfield men early this morning for heroin trafficking after stopping them for speeding in Springfield.

According to police reports, Trooper Daniel Kelly of the Springfield barracks stopped a Subaru Impreza driven by John Meyette, 27, of Brooks Avenue in Pittsfield, for speeding on Route 291 at about 1:25 a.m.

Kelly said he discovered a large quantity of heroin in the vehicle - about 1,000 individual packages with a street value of $10,000 - and a hypodermic needle. He was assisted at the scene by Trooper Jonathan Nickles.

Meyette, Joseph Mathews, 21, of Memorial Drive and Lyle D. Parker, 23, of Scalise Drive, were all charged with trafficking a Class A controlled substance. Meyette was also charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license and speeding. Police said none of men was properly licensed to the operate the car.

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Task Force Breaks Up Drug Ring

Staff Reports

Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed more than a dozen search warrants this morning in Pittsfield, Richmond and Adams, according to a press release from the DA's office.

Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said eight people were arrested in the culmination of the first phase of a large-scale, ongoing investigation. He said additional warrants and arrests are expected. According to Capeless, investigators have seized more than 150 grams of cocaine, more than 25 pounds of high-grade marijuana, more than 100 Oxycontin pills, methadone tablets, one .380-caliber handgun and $50,000 in cash.
 
Arrested in Pittsfield were Richard Carnevale Jr., Shane Whalen, Frank LeClair and David LaPlante; Richard Cargill and Katie Lynn Powers were arrested in Richmond; and Michael King and Tracy Gagne were arrested in Adams. All will be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield.
 
"This is a significant drug-dealing ring, and we will continue to work until we have snared every person involved," said Capeless in a statement. "I commend the officers of the Task Force for another job well done, and wish them continued success in bringing this investigation to a just conclusion."

The investigation is being conducted by the task force, including investigators from the state police assigned to the district attorney's office, members of the Pittsfield, Adams, North Adams, Dalton, Lee, Lenox, Williamstown, Lanesborough, Great Barrington and Stockbridge police departments, federal investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and state troopers assigned to the Lee and Cheshire barracks.  

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