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Corner Store Robbed in North Adams
Staff Reports On: 06:24PM / Saturday August 17, 2013
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Police are investigating an afternoon robbery at the Corner Market.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two suspects are being sought in a bold daylight robbery on Saturday that injured a clerk at the Corner Market.

"A lady was found inside the store," said Sgt. James Burdick. "She was assaulted and the store robbed."

Police are seeking two men, possibly African-American or Hispanic; one was clad in black, the other was wearing an orange track suit-type outfit.

The call came in about 3 p.m. Burdick said the clerk was alone in the store on a regular shift at the time of the robbery and received minor injuries. She was currently at the police station speaking with investigators.

Burdick said the scene had been closed off and state police Crime Scene Services was en route. No information on what or how much was stolen would be available until after the scene was processed, he said.

Several officers were at the scene and the store entrance was closed off with police tape. Lanesborough Police provided a K-9 unit for several hours.

The building at 108-110 River St. is owned by Nazim N. Daredia. The convenience store had long been operated by the James and Gisele Bua until the 1990s.



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Superior Court Briefs: August 6 - August 12
Staff Reports On: 04:59PM / Friday August 16, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, August 6.

Steven Sumpter, 19, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault and battery.

Sumpter was released on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on June 15, 2013 involving a 41-year-old man.

Quintin Sumpter, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

He was released on $6,500 cash or $65,000 surety bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on June 15, 2013 involving a 41-year-old man.

Brandon Green, 20, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

The charge is in connection with an incident in North Adams on June 15, 2013 involving a 41-year-old man. He was released on $7,500 cash or $75,000 surety bail.

Leonard Ellis, 42, of Troy, N.Y.  had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed robbery, assault by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery in connection with an incident involving a 28-year-old man in North Adams on January 10, 2013.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $75,000 cash or $750,000 surety bail.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, August 7.

Victor Jennings, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of armed assault with intent to murder, two counts of aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and single counts of illegal possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.

He was released on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. Jennings allegedly shot at two youths in Pittsfield on June 16, 2013.

Neyvon Pinckney, 21, of Springfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

He was released on personal recognizance. The charge stems from an incident in North Adams on June 15, 2013 and involved a 41-year-old man.

Sarina Sweeney, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of armed robbery while masked, armed assault with intent to rob, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering in the nighttime and larceny under $250.

She was released on personal recognizance. The incident allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on January 25, 2013 and involved a 30-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, August 12.

Jereme Capitanio, 32, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 10 counts of breaking and entering in the daytime and a single count of receiving stolen property over $250.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. Capitanio allegedly broke into homes in Otis and Sandisfield between January 31, 2013 and February 22, 2013.

Jake Sawtelle, 23, of Dalton had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of breaking and entering in the daytime and a single count of larceny of a firearm.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. Sawtelle allegedly broke into homes in Becket, Lanesborough and Richmond between February 18, 2013 and March 6, 2013.

Richard Smith, 23, of Bronx, N.Y. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery and single counts of home invasion and larceny from a person.

Smith was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $40,000 cash or $400,000 surety bail. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on July 2, 2013 and involved a 40-year-old woman and two men, ages 43 and 53.

Daivon Wilson, 21, of Bronx, N.Y. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery and single counts of home invasion and larceny from a person.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $30,000 cash or $300,000 surety bail. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on July 2, 2013 and involved a 40-year-old woman and two men, ages 43 and 53.



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Pittsfield Police Believe Body That of Missing Man
Staff Reports On: 05:08PM / Tuesday August 13, 2013
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Michael Gokey

Update: Aug. 20 at 6:33 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities have confirmed that the body found in the woods near Pittsfield Cemetery is Michael Gokey, who had been missing since Aug. 6.

The state medical examiner's officer identified the body on Tuesday. The body was found in the woods on Aug. 13 by a state police cadaver K-9. A cause of death has not been made but authorities do not suspect foul play.


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police believe a body found Tuesday afternoon in a wooded area west of the Pittsfield Cemetery is a missing city man.

Police had been searching the area for 21-year-old Michael Gokey who was last seen Tuesday, Aug. 6. A positive identification should be completed in the next few days after an autopsy conducted by the office of the chief medical examiner.

Authorities do not suspect foul play.  

The body of a white man apparently in his 20s was found by a state police cadaver K-9 at about 2:30 p.m. in the vicinity of Vin Hebert Boulevard. Investigators believe the body is that of the Highland Avenue resident based upon evidence at the scene and information acquired during the investigation.     

Gokey was last seen early Tuesday morning at his home. He was known to hike trails behind Lake Onota Village and St. Joseph's Cemetery. He was described as standing 5-feet-10 and weighing 165 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair. He was wearing a shirt, brown shorts and hiking boots.

Police said he had a distinctive tattoo of a snake and skull on his right shoulder and a red cross on his right forearm.



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Pittsfield Man Dies After 'Accidental' Shooting
Staff Reports On: 12:39PM / Friday August 09, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 21-year-old city man died Thursday afternoon at Berkshire Medical Center after suffering a gunshot wound a day earlier.

Investigators believe Chandler Lynch of Lincoln Street had been "playing with a handgun when it accidentally discharged," based on interviews with witnesses.

Lynch was taken to BMC early Wednesday after police were dispatched to a report of a disturbance at Brown Street residence. They found several people trying to get Lynch to the hospital.

The investigation is continuing but Pittsfield Police say they do not suspect fould play.  
 


Wednesday Shooting Hospitalizes Pittsfield Man

Original post Aug. 8, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigation an early morning shooting that sent one man to the Intensive Care Unit.

According to the District Attorney's office, Police responded to a disturbance at 50 Brown Street early Wednesday morning for a disturbance where they found multiple people attempting to bring 21-year-old Chandler Lynch to the hospital. Emergency Medical Technicians transported Lynch to Berkshire Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit.

At this point, Police do not suspect foul play but are asking anyone with information to contact the detective bureau at 413-448-9705.



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Lee Police Chief Indicted On Extortion, Money Laundering Charges
Staff Reports On: 01:32PM / Thursday August 08, 2013
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LEE, Mass. — Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis was indicted in federal court Thursday on extortion and money laundering charges.

Buffis, 55, of Pittsfield allegedly extorted $4,000 in "donations" from two individuals who were facing charges related to prostitution, according to the U.S. attorney general's office. The donation was made payable to the Edward J. Laliberte Toy Fund, which Buffis had control over, and then withdrawn and deposited into Buffis' bank account.

According to prosecutors, the money was used to pay personal expenses. Buffis also allegedly lied to law enforcement about the funds.

"To be entrusted to serve and protect is a great honor and privilege. The alleged actions of Chief Buffis disgrace the many incredible law enforcement stewards who uphold and enforce the law.  Actions like these threaten the credibility of our justice system, and we will not stand idly by and allow the trust of our communities to be violated,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in a statement released on Thursday.

Buffis was indicted on the three counts of money laundering and a single count of extortion. He could face up to 20 years in prison on each count, followed by five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Buffis has not yet appeared in court for a plea.

The toy fund was named for Laliberte, a longtime Lee police officer, who in the 1950s began to provide toys for the town's needy children at Christmastime.

"The allegations contained in the federal indictment describe a serious breach of the public trust, and my office will continue to work with United States Attorney Ortiz and her office to see that justice is done and order restored," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said in a statement. "It should be made clear that these accusations are made against one man, Joseph Buffis, not the Lee Police Department or any other members of its force. My office will continue to work proudly alongside the Lee Police Department to ensure safety and justice in the town of Lee and throughout Berkshire County."

The alleged crime was reportedly uncovered by Capeless' office and state police. The case is being tried out of the Springfield federal court.

"This is another example of a successful investigation and extraordinary teamwork between the FBI, the Massachusetts State Police, United States attorney and Berkshire district attorney's offices. The conduct charged in this indictment demonstrates law enforcement’s commitment to pursue public corruption at any level. We will not tolerate these acts, especially from those who have sworn to serve and protect the community and its citizens,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Vincent B. Lisi in a statement.

Police are still seeking the public's assistance in the case. For those who have donated cash or toys to the fund or have applied to the fund are asked to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Springfield agency at 413-732-0159.

Buffis Indictment

 



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