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Police Surround Reportedly Armed Pittsfield Man
Staff Reports On: 07:00PM / Saturday July 21, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A large force of police from around central Berkshire County tracked down and surrounded a man believed to be armed in Cheshire on Saturday afternoon. Multiple Pittsfield police units were seen traveling north in search of a man driving a black Lincoln.

Sometime after 5 p.m., SWAT officers and a Crisis Intervention officer were dispatched to a location at West Mountain Road in Cheshire, which authorities gleaned from a trace of the individual's cell phone. The man was said to have made threats that he might do harm to himself. 

Calls to dispatch indicated that the man's girlfriend told police he had a gun with a full clip, and eight additional rounds of ammunition. State police confirmed that the incident was ongoing.

Law enforcement drew a perimeter around the area where the man is believed to be, still in his car, while the man's girlfriend carried out a conversation over the phone.

At 6:25, Pittsfield Police Department released an announcement that a major police operation was in progress.

"Operation One Team One Mission is in progress. Street level suppression and interdiction with PPD, MSP, BCSD, Probation and other LEOs."

This incident is ongoing. We will post updates as they become available.

Update: Andrew Apple, 27, of Pittsfield was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm without a license and larceny of a firearm shortly before 7 p.m. The team "missions" apparently referred to an operation by Pittsfield Police in the city.




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Superior Court Briefs: July 16
Staff Reports On: 05:47PM / Friday July 20, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 16.

Shannon Luczynski, 31, of North Adams was sentenced to serve four and a half to five and a half years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

Luczynski pleaded guilty on July 12 to four counts of distribution of oxymorphone and one count of drug violation in a park zone. He was given two concurrent two to two and a half year sentences on the distribution charges and then an additional two and a half to three year sentence on the park zone charge.

The incident occurred in North Adams between January 28, 2011 and February 10, 2011.

Robin Connors, 28, of Lee pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was sentenced to three to four year sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lee on November 9, 2011.

Single counts of distribution of heroin and drug violation in a school zone were dismissed by the state.


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Missing Pittsfield Child Reportedly Returned to Father
Staff Reports On: 06:02PM / Wednesday July 18, 2012
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Police are searching for Alexis Hodges, who is with her mother, Amanda Babcock.
Update, Friday, July 20, 11:42 a.m.: Alexis Hodges was reportedly returned to her father in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday morning, according to witnesses. We have placed a call with the police asking for confirmation.

Police have notified that all national and local missing child alerts have been canceled.


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield police are asking for anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of 3-year-old Alexis Lee Hodges and her mother, Amanda Babcock, to contact them as they continue to investigate a missing persons report filed by the child's father last week.

Michael Hodges says he was awarded full custody of daughter Alexis on the morning of July 12, at a court proceeding at which Babcock failed to appear. Hodges had indicated on his Facebook as early as 9 that night that police were trying to locate the child's mother. The following day, according to Hodges, he filed a report that the child was missing. Hodges and friends began posting photos of the child as missing over the weekend and by early Wednesday had reached a significant enough volume to draw attention from local media.

"She's 3 and she's pretty much fending for herself right now. The situation that she's in was put on by her mother and the situation she's in is not right. My daughter doesn't deserve this. My daughter deserves to be home with me," Michael Hodges told YNN in an interview late Wednesday evening.

Authorities have said the case is not being considered a kidnapping because the mother of the child has not been served notification of the father's custody, but her whereabouts have remained unknown. According to their alert Wednesday afternoon, initial information indicated that Babcock, along with her boyfriend, Jeffrey Kucka, were planning to leave the area for Colorado. This was not corroborated, and police now say they believe the trio to be still in the local area.

Pittsfield Police have received reports from the public that the three have been seen camping in various locations locally within the past few weeks. Police in Lanesborough had previously received a complaint about a month ago that Kucka, along with his girlfriend and her child, were staying off a rural road near Riverside Cemetery, according to a nearby neighbor.

Relatives of Babcock indicated that she, the child, and Kucka had not been staying at their last known address for some time, and were possibly indigent. Pittsfield police similarly suggested that they may be staying outdoors or at a friends house.

They are believed to be traveling in a green, 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport with the license plate of 588EE3. They have ties to Williamstown, Lanesborough and Hancock, Police are reporting.

Anyone with information about the possible whereabouts of these three individuals is asked to call Pittsfield Police immediately.

Det. Nick DeSantis: 413-448-9700 Ext. 303
Capt. Patrick Barry: 413-448-9700 Ext. 606

PPD also has the capability to accept anonymous tips online  and via text: PITTIP plus your message and send it to 847411.



PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are trying to locate 3-year-old Alexis Hodges, who is believed to be with her mother either camping for with friends.

Police released a statement on Wednesday calling for information about the whereabouts of Hodges, her mother, Amanda Babcock, and Babcock's boyfriend, Jeffrey Kucka. Police say they want to find them and check the well-being of Hodges.

Initial reports suggest Babcock was planning to leave the state and travel to Colorado but that information had not been corroborated, Police said.

Information indicates that all three are still in the county and are either staying with friends or camping. They are believed to be traveling in a green, 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport with the license plate of 588EE3. They have ties to Williamstown, Lanesborough and Hancock, Police are reporting.

Babcock and Hodges have been entered into the National Crime Information Center as Missing and Endangered Subjects.

Anyone who has seen or have had contact with the three people are asked to contact Police at 413-448-9700.


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Lanesborough Police Searching For Jewelry Heist Suspect
Staff Reports On: 12:25PM / Tuesday July 17, 2012
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are on the lookout for a man that stole two diamond rings from Kay Jewelers in the Berkshire Mall.

The rings, valued at $9,500 each, were stolen Friday at about 5:15 p.m.

A male, possibly Hispanic or bi-racial between 25 and 30 years old and between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, was looking at diamond engagement rings when he grabbed them and fled on foot through JC Penney's, according to Police.

The man took off in a dark colored sedan with an antenna on the trunk.

It is also believed the party had been casing the store from earlier in the week and was seen in the mall most of Friday.

The suspect told employees that he was from Connecticut and had recently bought a house in Cheshire. Police say this was a ploy.

Police are now looking for anybody who can identify the suspect or might have seen the crime as well as asking hotels and motels if they had seen the man.

Anyone with information are asked to call the Lanesborough Police Department at 413-443-4107. The crime is being investigated by Sgt. Gary Kirby and Investigator Timothy Sorrell.



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Superior Court Briefs: July 9 - July 13
Staff Reports On: 05:07PM / Monday July 16, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 9.

Michael Mitchell, 35, of Williamstown had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of larceny over $250.

He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a break in North Adams on March 2.

Sergio Ponce, 26, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of improper sale of a firearm, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and receiving stolen property over $250.

Ponce was released on $500 bail. He allegedly sold a SKS assault rifle to an individual in Pittsfield on November 8, 2011.

Tracy Thompson
, 50, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine and drug violation in a park zone.

He was sentenced to serve two years and one day at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from incidents that occurred in Pittsfield on December 10, 2010. An additional count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 10.

Paul Keele Jr., 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of distribution of cocaine in connection with the sale of the drug in Pittsfield on November 30, 2010 and single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license - his second offense - and a single count of disorderly conduction in connection with his arrest on July 1, 2011.

He was sentenced to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution charge and two years probation on the other charges.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 11.

Jermaine Russell, 32, of North Adams pleaded guilty to four counts of assault and battery.

Russell was sentenced to serve concurrent two and a half year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incident occurred in North Adams on December 28, 2010. The victims are two women who are 19 and 66 years old.

A single count of entering without breaking at night was dismissed by the state.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, July 12.


Bryan Jefferson, 31, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of cocaine.

He was released on personal recognizance. Jefferson allegedly conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on March 17.

Jamel Nicholson, 23, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of cocaine.

Nicholson was released on personal recognizance. He allegedly conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on March 20.

Shannon Luczynski, 31, of North Adams pleaded guilty to four counts of distribution of oxymorphone and a single count of drug violation in a park zone.

Luczynski will be sentenced on Monday, July 16 at 9 a.m. The incidents occurred in North Adams between January 28, 2011 and February 10, 2011.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, July 13.

Chantelle Most
, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a person over the age of 60 and larceny from a person over 65.

She was sentenced to concurrent two to three year state prison sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham. The incident occurred in Pittsfield on June 27 and the victim in an 82-year-old man.


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