Passenger Airlifted to Albany After Vermont Crash
The passenger in Thursday's accident, Jordan Belliveau, 20, died of his injuries later in the day at Albany Medical Center.
WHITINGHAM, Vt. — A single-vehicle accident seriously injured a passenger early Thursday morning on Tunnel Street, a mile north of Bosley Hill Road.
It took more than an hour for the Readsboro Fire Department to extricate the passenger of a 2007 Dodge Durango that crashed into a tree at about 2 a.m. The passenger's identity was being withheld pending notification of family.
North Adams (Mass.) Ambulance Service also responded to the scene.
The driver was identified as Patrick Belliveau, 24, of Gardner, Mass. Belliveau had fled the scene, according to Vermont State Police, and was located a short time later about 4 miles away from the accident. Upon taken into custody, he was screened for alcohol and drug impairment and his blood alcohol level was determined to be .089 percent, above the limit of .08.
The passenger was air lifted by medical helicopter from the scene to Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center and is listed in critical condition. The individual suffered multiple compound fractures, internal injuries, head injuries.
Belliveau, who is charged with gross negligent operation (serious bodily injury) and leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, was treated for a fractured arm at Southwest Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. Belliveau may also be charged with driving under the influence pending the results of evidentiary tests.
The Durango was considered totaled with front end, undercarriage, passenger side damage.
Tunnel Street was closed to traffic for approximately three hours while the crash was investigated. North Adams
Anyone with information related to this crash should contact the Vermont State Police at 802-442-5421.
Lee Police Officer Resigns Amid Evidence Theft Investigation
LEE, Mass. — A police officer has resigned while being investigated for allegedly stealing evidence.
The district attorney's office says Ryan Lucy, one of two evidence officers for the Lee Police Department, resigned and entered substance abuse rehabilitation treatment on Aug. 29. He is cooperating with investigators, the district attorney's office says, with an investigation regarding theft of evidence.
The Police Department became suspicious in late July when cash from an investigation went missing. State Police detectives were called to audit the department's evidence.
A total of $1,408 in cash was found to be missing from the evidence locker from two investigations and one prior disposed criminal case. The money has been returned since the first phase of the investigation.
Detectives also discovered that drugs received through the department's drop box for unused medications were stolen.
The audit is not complete but the district attorney's office says it does not appear that any other evidence related to pending or recently completed cases has been compromised.
The office says no further information will be forthcoming until the investigation is completed.
Man Dies Following Assault at Pittsfield YMCA Apartments
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 44-year-old man died Sunday after being assaulted in the apartments operated by the Pittsfield Family YMCA.
Joseph Wirtes, 44, was allegedly assaulted by Brian Signor at the apartments Sunday morning. Wirtes was transported to Berkshire Medical Center following the assault and was pronounced dead later that day.
Signor, 27, also of the YMCA's 292 North St. residence, was arraigned on Monday on a single count of aggravated assault and battery, according to the district attorney's office. He pleaded not guilty and is being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 cash or surety bail.
Further charges may be forthcoming, according to the DA, pending the results of an autopsy being conducted on Monday by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Holyoke.
FBI: MS-13 Member Arrested In Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An alleged member of a violent international street gang was arrested Thursday morning in Pittsfield by the FBI.
Efrain Vasquez-Yanez has been charged with conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and Pittsfield Police took Vasquez-Yanez into custody without incident Thursday.
He was indicted in U.S. District Court in Boston along with 55 others of the La Mara Salvatrucha — or MS-13 — gang in January. Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. But no money will be paid out in this case, according to FBI officials.
The 33-year-old Vasquez-Yanez was born in El Salvador and was last seen in July in Everett. The FBI obtained information related to a connection to Pittsfield, which led to his arrest on Thursday.
The January indictment issued out of Boston accuses the gang members of various crimes including murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking. The FBI says Vasquez-Yanez received "homeboy status" within the gang, which the FBI says is granted only to members who commit a murder and or inflict serious physical injury on a person in the name of the gang. He allegedly served as "protection" for interstate transport of cocaine loads.
The FBI's wanted poster said he was considered armed and dangerous.
Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 12 - Sept. 15
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, September 12.
Casey Hall, 31, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin.
She was ordered to serve 327 days at the Hampden County House of Correction, Chicopee Woman's Facility with credit for time served.
The charges stem form the execution of a search warrant at 56 Orchard Street in Adams on October 22, 2015.
A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, September 13.
Benjamin Fielding, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin.
He was ordered to serve 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge stems form an incident in Pittsfield on June 8, 2015.
Two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and drug violation in a school zone were dismissed by the state.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, September 15.
Kate Frissell, 35, of Hinsdale had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility on $25,000 bail.
Frissell is accused of selling fentanyl laced heroin to 39-year-old Shawn Filiault on February 5, 2016. Filiault died after ingesting the drug. She is also accused of being in possession of heroin with intent to sell when she was arrested on July 8, 2016.
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