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Pittsfield Man Dies After 'Accidental' Shooting

Staff Reports

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

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 The donation was made payable to the Edward J. Laliberte Toy Fund, which Buffis had control over, and then withdrawn and deposited into Buffis' bank account.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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Superior Court Briefs: July 22 - August 2.

Staff Reports

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 22.

Messiah Grandson, 21, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and misleading a police officer or other person.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $40,000 cash or $400,000 surety bail. Grandson allegedly assaulted a 41-year-old man in North Adams on June 15, 2013.

Johnny Nieves, 38, of Pittsfield had not guilty leas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and batter.

The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on June 15, 2013 involving a 41-year-old man and 22-year-old woman.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 bail.

Recep Sarikcioglu, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of intimidation of a witness or other person, two counts of violation of a restraining order, two counts of soliciting to commit a felony and single counts of assault and batter by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.

Sarikcioglu is accused of assaulting a 27-year-old woman in Pittsfield, violating a restraining order and soliciting another to commit murder and arson. The crimes allegedly occurred between May 13, 2013 and June 30, 2013.

Harry Young III, 41, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, two counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, two counts of improper storage of a firearm and a single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home in June 20, 2013.

Jamel Nicholson, 24, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of distribution of cocaine in connection with the sale of cocaine in Pittsfield on November 30, 2011 and guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws on March 20, 2012.

He was ordered to serve concurrent 18 month sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 23.

Roy Owen Dilley, 41, of Adams pleaded guilty to four counts or receiving stolen property over $250.

He was placed on one year probation. The charges stem from a house break in Cheshire on April 18, 2012.

Two counts of larceny of a firearm, two counts of illegal possession of a fire and single counts of breaking and entering and conspiracy were dismissed by the state.  

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 30.

Isaac Pizarro, 36, of Springfield pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of cocaine, two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

He was ordered to serve concurrent three and a half to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The incidents occurred in Pittsfield between August 25, 2011 and April 11, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 31.

Christopher Harrison, 44, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of caretaker abuse or neglect of an elder and threat to commit a crime, to wit: murder.

He was sentenced o 18 months of a two and a half year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and place on two years probation on the caretaker abuse charge. He was given concurrent two years probation on the other charge.

Harrison failed to take care of a 67-year-old woman between January 1, 2012 and February 22, 2013. He also threatened to murder a 41-year-old woman between January 1, 2013 and February 22, 2013. Both incidents occurred in Pittsfield.

Amena Smith, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.

She was sentenced to serve one year of a two year sentence at the Berkshire Count House of Correction on the possession of cocaine charge. She was also placed on two years probation and the other charge was placed on file.

The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Wahconah Street on October 31, 2012.

Single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal ownership of a firearm and improper storage of a firearm were dismissed by the state.

Jenna Wheeler, 25, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in oxycodone and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

She was released on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Richmond on June 2, 2013.

Charles Williamson Jr., 52, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of failing to register as a sex offender.

He was ordered to 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incident occurred in Pittsfield between December 18, 2012 and January 13, 2013.

Ryan Babcock, 28, of New Marlborough had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute - his second offense - resisting arrest, assault and battery on a public  employee and disorderly conduct.

He was released on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from a domestic dispute call in Great Barrington on June 5, 2013.

Shannon Bliss, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

She was sentenced to serve 18 months of a two and a half year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of cocaine charge. She was also placed on two years probation. She was given concurrent six month sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the conspiracy charge.

The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 39 Prospect Street on April 19, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, August 1.

Denzel Moody, 21, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of cocaine and a single count of drug violation in a school zone in connection with incidents that occurred in Pittsfield between August 3, 2011 and August 29, 2011. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of drug violation in a park zone and single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of ecstasy in connection with a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on January 10, 2013.   

He was sentenced to serve concurrent one day sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession of ecstasy charges. He was given three and a half to five years on the school and park zone violations. HE was given three years probation on two counts of distribution of cocaine.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, August 2.

Maighan McKie, 32, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

She was given a two year suspended sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on two years probation on the conspiracy charge. The other charge was placed on file.

The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lenox on April 3, 2012. A single count of trafficking in cocaine was dismissed by the state.

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Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Sheffield Crash

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Sandy Hook, Conn., man pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Berkshire Superior Court to motor vehicle homocide and his fifth offense of drunken driving in connection with an accident that claimed the life of a South County woman.  

Frederick J. Weller, 36, will have to serve 15 to 18 years in Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

Weller was accused of drunkenly smashing his truck into two vehicles, killing Moira Banks-Dobson, 24, and seriously injuring Russell Brown, then 52, on Feb. 28, 2012. Weller was northbound in his F-350 on Route 7 in Sheffield when he hit Brown's Dodge Neon head-on in the southbound lane and then ended up on top of Banks-Dobson's Toyota Corolla. He tried to flee the scene and threatened people trying to stop him.

Appearing before Judge John Agostini, Weller pleaded guilty to single counts of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and operating to endanger; operating under the influence of alcohol, serious bodily injury and operating to endanger; operating under the influence of alcohol (5th offense); intimidation of a witness or other person; leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, death resulting; and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of leaving the scene of a property damage accident and one count of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

Agostini ordered that he serve a 12- to 14-year state prison sentence at Cedar Junction on the charge of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and operating to endanger. He was given a 3- to 4-year state prison sentence, to be served on and after the first sentence, on the operating under the influence of alcohol, serious bodily injury and operating to endanger charge. He was given concurrent jail time on the other charges.       

The investigation was conducted by members of the Sheffield Police Department.

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North Adams Residents Advised to Lock Doors After Break-ins

Staff Reports
iBerkshires

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are warning residents to make sure their car and garage doors are locked after a series of break-ins in the West End.

Unsecured cars and a few garages have been entered over the past two weeks in the Notch Road area, including Marion and Woodlawn avenues.

"We can't stress this enough: you must lock your doors," said Police Director Michael Cozzaglio on Thursday. "Times have changed."

Residents are also advised not to leave valuable in their cars and to secure their garages. At least one resident had valuables taken from an unlocked car in an unlocked garage. The break-ins were described as crimes of opportunity, in which the thief or thieves are swiftly rifling unlocked vehicles.  

Residents should be alert and report any late-night suspicious activity to the police by calling 911.

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Page 81 of 178... 76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83  84  85  86 ... 178  
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