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Pittsfield Police Break Up Alleged Prostitution Ring

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police have broken up an alleged prostitution ring.
 
Police arrested Randy Lambach, 45, of Becket, and Joseph VanWert, 65, of Pittsfield, on charges of human trafficking, knowingly permitting prostitution on the premises, and sexual conduct for a fee. They are currently being held without bail.
 
In the spring, the Department noticed an increased number of calls regarding proposition and solicitation in certain areas. Patrol officers gathered information, relating those involved in the alleged prostitution with narcotics addiction. 
 
Officer Brenna Dorr led a lengthy investigation which Police said revealed that women were being recruited by Lambach and that he facilitate sexual encounters. The women were then compensated in narcotics - including heroin, cocaine and prescription medication. 
 
"The women were recruited by Lambach, then photographed and advertised on social media sites. Lambach facilitated meeting locations with prospective 'johns' and transported these women to specified locations. He would often wait nearby to take a portion of the earnings. He would also compensate the women with narcotics in lieu of cash. This included heroin, cocaine and prescription medication," wrote Lt. Michael Maddalena in a release issued Tuesday morning. 
 
Police said the practice had been going on for several years. Nearly all of the women allegedly recruited by Lambach were suffering from drug addiction issues and VanWert's residence at a senior living facility was allegedly used as a place to conduct proposition.
 
Police say additional charges are pending. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Officer Dorr at 413-448- 9700 ext 384.
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Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 13 - Nov. 15

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, November 13.
 
Christopher Rathbun, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of cocaine.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lee on October 10, 2017.
 
Ronald Vachon, 34, of Greenfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, two counts of rape and abuse of a child aggravated by an age difference, and a single count of disseminating harmful matter to a minor.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. 
 
The incidents are alleged to have occurred in Florida between September 13, 2015 and December 22, 2015 and involved a girl who was 13 years old.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 14.
 
Michael Bailey Jr., 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, and larceny from a building.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. Bailey is accused of breaking into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017 and the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017 and taking ATM machines from each.
 
Nicholas Beauchamp, 29, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, three counts of larceny from a building, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and carrying a dangerous weapon.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. 
 
Beauchamp is accused of breaking into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017, the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017, and O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield on September 11, 2017. He allegedly took money from those businesses. The other charges are in relation to his arrest on September 28, 2017.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, November 15.
 
Justin Crawford, 20, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of oxycodone.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. The firearm charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on October 2, 2017 and the drug charges are related to his arrest on October 10, 2017.
 
Joshua Luczynski, 34, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - armed career felon, illegal ownership of a firearm, and improper storage of a firearm.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $7,500. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on September 28, 2017.
 
Matthew Rodriguez, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, and single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and drug violate within a school zone.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in North Adams on October 12, 2017.
 
Christopher Vandesteene, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, three counts of larceny from a building, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. 
 
Vandesteene is accused of breaking into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017, the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017, taking ATMs from each. He is also accused of breaking into O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield on September 11, 2017 and taking money. The drug charges are related to his arrest on September 28, 2017.
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No One Injured in North Adams Head-On Collision

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on Thursday closed a section of Massachusetts Avenue for close to an hour. 
 
No one was hurt in the noontime accident but both vehicles had to be towed from scene.
 
The accident occurred near 1406 Mass Ave., near the Blackinton Honor Roll shortly after noon. A westbound red older model Ford Explorer crossed the center line into the path of an eastbound gray Dodge Caravan, knocking the van up onto the banking on the north side of the road. 
 
Lt. Jason Wood said driver of the Ford told police he had dropped his cup of coffee, distracting him as the van was approaching. The driver was cited for not having a driver's license.
 
Both vehicles incurred front-end damage on their passenger sides; the van's front end was crumpled. The Ford was removed by Mohawk Auto and the van by Dean's Towing. 
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Adams Woman Charged With Stealing Four Cars in One Day

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

CHESHIRE, Mass. — Cheshire Police arrested an Adams woman Friday night who allegedly stole four cars — including a Lexus and BMW — in one day between Adams and Lenox. 

Cheshire Police Chief Tim Garner said an officer arrested 33-year-old Chandra Bourelle late Friday night near the town line after she lost control of a car she had stolen.

But it wasn't her first alleged Grand Theft Auto of the night.

Garner said she had been caught earlier in the day stealing a motor vehicle in Adams. She made bail and was released. She then stole a car that had been left running from Racing Mart in Adams, he said.

She took off to Cranwell in Lenox, where she ditched the Adams car and stole another car, the police chief said. After that, she headed to Seven Hills Inn in Lenox, where she reportedly stole yet another car and headed back toward Adams.

"She stole another one in Adams, drove it to Lenox, stole another one, left that one, and drove basically right across the street, stole another one and left the second one," Garner said. "The second one was running at Racing Mart. How she got the Lexus from Cranwell and a BMW from Seven Hills, I don't know."

Garner said a Cheshire officer was on Reservoir Road driving toward Fred Mason Road when he saw the stolen car coming toward him.

"This was the fourth stolen car of the day for this girl, so he spins around to go after her," he said. "She takes off flying so he radios Adams because he thought she was heading that way."

He said the officer found her on East View Drive, and she pulled out onto Route 8 and gunned it north to Adams.

Garner said she lost control of her car near Duke's Sand & Gravel and almost ran into a wrecker.

A wrecker on its way back to Lenox.

"She almost hit a flatbed wrecker from Lenox that had just dropped off the first stolen car so while he was in town he took the last car she stole and brought it back to Lenox," Garner said.

Garner said Bourelle's bail was revoked when she appeared in Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday. 

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Pittsfield Man Pleads Not Guilty To 2016 Murder

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to murder.
 
James Cromartie, 31, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on the single count of murder. Judge John Agostini ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
Cromartie is accused of shooting and killing James Dominguez III on January 23, 2016. Dominguez was found dead in the early hours in the parking lot next to Lach's Lounge on Fenn Street. 
 
Police had responded to the area at 1:30 in the morning to find Dominguez had been shot in the head. He was transported to Berkshire Medical Center and was pronounced dead later that day.
 
More than a year and a half later, Cromartie was arrested for the crime. On Oct. 16 police arrested Cromartie on a warrant during a motor vehicle stop on Park Street.
 
Cromartie was also charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. The district attorney's office said that he was in possession of cocaine when he was arrested.
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