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Pittsfield Councilor Charged With Drug Violation
Staff Reports On: 02:59PM / Tuesday August 20, 2013
Paul Capitanio

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A sitting city councilor is accused of alerting drug dealers to police raids.

According to the Berkshire Eagle, Paul Capitanio pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to conspiracy to possess oxycodone and being an accessory after the fact. The paper reports that police accuse Capitanio of alerting dealers as a way to maintain an oxycodone habit.

The councilor's attorney, Timothy Shugrue, said his client denied the charges and that he had an oxycodone addiction.

Capitanio, who owns the East Side Cafe, has represented Ward 3 since being first elected in 2009; he is not standing for election this year.

The Eagle reports that Capitanio had been arrested by state police on Friday and is currently out on $500 bail.



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Hancock Firefighters Stop Vacation Village Blaze
By Andy McKeever On: 06:32PM / Monday August 19, 2013

HANCOCK, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out a blaze in a Vacation Village timeshare unit Sunday afternoon.

According to Fire Chief Dave Rash, firefighters responded to Vacation Village on Brodie Mountain Road at about 3:30 p.m. for reports of smoke. Rash said an overhead exhaust fan overheated and a fire spread into the attic area.

"It wasn't a very big fire but we had trouble finding it," Rash said on Monday.

There were no injuries and the fire was put out in about 20 minutes, Rash said. Housekeepers had noticed the smoke and management quickly evacuated the building prior to the department's arrival, he said.

"There were no problems other than it being a hot day and guys in full turnout gear," he said. "It was kind of tiring for the guys."

Stephentown, N.Y., firefighters also responded to the scene and Lanesborough was on call in Hancock's station. Two units suffered damage and those occupants affected had been moved to other units on the property.

Those staying in Unit 607 A, where the fire started, were not in the unit at the time, Rash said.

"The fire damage was all in the attic but there was smoke and water damage in the units underneath," he said.



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Corner Store Robbed in North Adams
Staff Reports On: 06:24PM / Saturday August 17, 2013
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

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
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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News Headlines
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Economic Development Commission Will 'Roll Out Slowly'
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Bianchi Accepts Road Race Challenge; Teams Announced
Bird, Blue Devils Earn Win in Giorgi League
North Adams 13s Battle on Difficult Night in Babe Ruth Play
North Adams 15s Win Babe Ruth District Opener

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