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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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Mall Cleared for Fryer Fire

Staff Reports

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A fire in a fryolator forced a brief evacuation of the Berkshire Mall on Friday morning and delayed its opening by 10 minutes.

The fire was contained to the McDonald's in the Food Court and is believed to have started in the fryolator's hood. The fire is under investigation and the fast-food purveyor is expected to be closed for at least a day or two during that time.

The fire occurred around 9 or 9:30 a.m.; the Food Court is open prior to many of the stores in the mall's interior. The mall itself opens at 10 a.m.

An hour or so after the fire was called in, two fire trucks were still parked at the entrance and the McDonald's and court area directly in front of it were cordoned off with yellow tape.

Heather Salerno, the mall's marketing director, said staff evacuated the building immediately and procedures set in place for emergencies "worked very well."

"Obviously there was a limited a staff at this time of the morning but they were able to get everyone cleared [from the building] very quickly," she said. "The Lanesborough Police and Lanesborough Fire Department did a fantastic job."

Store clerks, staff and customers were allowed back in at 10 minutes after 10, she said.

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Stamford Crime Watch Sets Meeting

Stamford/Clarksburg Crime Watch

STAMFORD, Vt. — There is a meeting at the Stamford School at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, to start organizing our Neighborhood Watch Group. 

Ken Sullivan-Bol will be handing out information and talking about his experience in Washington, D.C., at the National Neighborhood Watch certification class. Join us to discuss what we can do to make Stamford a better and safer community for all.

More information can be found at the Stamford/Clarksburg crime watch site www.towncrimewatch.com.

The community is encouraging anyone with a tip or a lead to speak up and contact the proper authorities. If you see anyting suspicious you must call law enforcement immediately. Call Vermont State Police at 802-442-5421 or Clarksburg Police at 413-663-7795. In an emergency, always call 911.
 

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Pownal Fire Leaves Family Homeless

Staff Reports

A devastating fire on remote Grapevine Lane in Pownal, Vt., destroyed a residence on Wednesday evening.

The homeowners, Lorenzo and Jean Burzimati, reportedly fled the building with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They have five children.

Photos posted at the Bennington Banner show the home has burnt to ground. Officials told the Banner the fire started in a self-cleaning oven.

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