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Four North Adams Residents Arrested in Two-State Drug Raid

Staff Reports

Update: On Tuesday, July 28, the Bennington Banner reported that Brooklynne Schneider had provided the Vermont Drug Task Force with information that resulted in the arrest of Kacey E. Caprari, 35, of North Adams on drug dealing charges.

Caprari was identified as a case worker with the Vermont Department of Children and Families. She allegedly was using her position to sell heroin out of the State Office Complex in Bennington.

Caprari was arraigned Tuesday in Vermont District Court in Bennington on felony charges of conspiracy to sell drugs and distribution of heroin. She was released on $5,000 bail, according to the Banner.


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police arrested four people on drug charges on Friday and recovered thousands of bags heroin and cocaine and cash.

The arrests were the result of multiple warrants simultaneously executed in North Adams, Holyoke and Stephentown, N.Y., on Friday "after a lengthy investigation into the distribution of narcotics."

Arrested in North Adams were Brooklynne R. Schneider, 21; Rosemaria H. Thorton, 67; Tre A. Amos, 22; and Johnathan J. Loring, 21.

Schneider, Thorton and Loring are each facing counts of possession to distribute a Class A drug (heroin) and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.

Amos is charged with the same violations and also faces charges of possession of Class B drug (cocaine).

Seized were more than 7,500 bags of heroin, 36 grams of cocaine and more than $5,000 in cash.

North Adams Police Department made the local arrests with the assistance and cooperation of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, Holyoke Police Department, Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Schneider was arrested in February 2014 in relation to an investigation into a drug ring from Holyoke. Schnieder was a passenger in the car of Joshua S. Bressette, murdered a month later in the Bronx, that was stopped by police on Mohawk Forest Blvd. Police say she had dozens of bags of heroin and cocaine on her person; she was later arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on drug charges.

Bressette was also charged and three others in a second car were also arrested on drug charges: Jordan Moon, 26, and Kassidy LeMire, 19, both of North Adams, and Kamil Kujawa, 23, a Polish national living in North Adams.

Kujawa, Moon and LeMire all pleaded guilty; Kujawa is serving a two to three-year sentence, Moon and LeMire were given probation.

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Authorities Investigating Fatal Fire In Hinsdale

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
HINSDALE, Mass. — A person died in an afternoon structure fire on Shore Drive on Thursday morning, shortly before 11.
 
Fire Chief Larry Turner said the district attorney's office is investigating the circumstances around the death. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze but one was taken to the hospital for treatment.
 
"We responded to 16 Shore Drive in Hinsdale and there was a fatality involved," Turner said on Friday. "We were able to put the fire out fairly quickly."
 
Turner said when he arrived, he saw smoke coming from the home's eaves, which automatically triggered a second alarm. Firefighters from Peru, Becket and Middlefield responded with tank trucks because the home was outside of the hydrant district. Dalton send an engine company to the scene. And Becket sent an engine to standby in Hinsdale's station.
 
"We did send one firefighter to the hospital with very high blood pressure. He was checked out and released," Turner said. 
 
Shore Drive is residential area off George Schnopp Road that runs along Lake Ashmere.
 
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said. The district attorney's office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death. Turner was unable to comment any further on the fatality.
 
The district attorney's office could not be reached on Friday.
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Superior Court Briefs: July 20 - July 22

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 20.
 
Sasha Santiago, 25, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in heroin, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
 
He was released on the same $15,000 bail which was set when she was previously arraigned. Santiago is accused of selling cocaine and heroin in Berkshire County between January 20, 2015 and March 6, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 21.
 
Brandon Phillips, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was given concurrent one-year suspended sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incidents occurred in Pittsfield on June 29, 2011.
 
Marcel Teixeira-Ingram, 19, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of larceny over $250.
 
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge stems from an incident in Pittsfield on August 20, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 22.
 
Nicholas Konton, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of drug violation in a school zone, two counts of distribution of heroin - his second offense - 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 $15,000 bail. The charge stems from an arrest in Pittsfield on June 8, 2015.
 
Christopher Lafrance, 25, of Williamstown pleaded guilty to 21 counts of possession of a large capacity feeding device, and single counts of carrying a firearm on school grounds, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace.
 
Lafrance carried a gun on campus at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams on October 28, 2014. All charges were continued without a finding.
 
Christopher Root, 40, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of rape and abuse of a child, and indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age 14.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail. The charges stem from alleged incidents in Pittsfield between August 1, 2014 and December 9, 2014. The alleged victim is now 16 years old. 
 
Nathan Tatro, 42, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery on a family or household member, two counts of strangulation or suffocation, and single counts of kidnapping, intimidation of a witness, and malicious damage to a motor vehicle.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from alleged incidents involving a 40-year-old woman between December 8, 2014 and May 17, 2015.
 
Bryan Arce, 29, of Great Barrington pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
He was ordered to serve one year of an 18-month sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on one-year probation.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Great Barrington on October 1, 2014.
 
Daniel Burgos, 45, of Indian Orchard had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine, and trafficking in cocaine.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. Burgos is accused of conspiring with others to sell cocaine and selling cocaine in Berkshire County between November 20, 2014 and December 9, 2014.
 
Felix Mateo, 31, of West Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
 
Bail was set at $100 but is he is already being held on on other charges in Hampden County. Mateo is accused of conspiring with others and selling cocaine and heroin in Berkshire County between December 9, 2014 and April 9, 2015.
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North Adams Police Seeking Robbery Suspect

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are looking for man suspected of robbing Whitney's Beverage Shop and injuring an employee on Wednesday.
 
According to police, a man entered the stored armed with a folding knife and demanded money from the clerk. At some point, a physical altercation ensued between the clerk and the suspect, during which the suspect slashed the clerk with the knife. The suspect fled the establishment, last seen heading southbound from the Oasis Plaza.
 
The shop reported the robbery at 12:57 p.m. Police have not released information on what, if anything, had been stolen.

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid 20s, standing approximately 5-foot-6, with brown hair, and wearing a blue T-shirt and blue jeans.

This is an active and ongoing investigation that will continue until the suspect is identified and apprehended. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the North Adams Police Department at 413-664-4944, Ext. 1, or leave a private message on the department's Facebook page.

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Police Seek Public's Help to Solve Pittsfield July 4 Shootings

Staff Reports
Robbins Avenue was the location of a drive-by shooting that wounded three people.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities are having trouble getting to the bottom of the July 4 shooting that left one dead and four injured and are seeking information from the public.
 
"Despite the extensive efforts of the many investigators from various agencies working together, we are still stymied by a lack of cooperation from people whom we believe have information vital to determining who was involved and what their motives were," reads a statement from District Attorney David Capeless released on Wednesday.
 
"Multiple shooters were involved and five people were wounded, one fatally. Gunplay and street violence are abhorrent to any community, but silence is their ally. Please help us, and help the Pittsfield community," 
 
Capeless's office has been mum on releasing details about the shooting during the investigation. In Wednesday's statement, however, the office did release some new information regarding the incidents.
 
That night there were two shootings in the area. Shortly before 11 p.m., a drive-by shooting occurred on Robbins Avenue. A group of individuals were gathered outside of a home there and three of them — two men and one woman — were wounded.
 
Soon after, a second shooting occurred in a vacant lot on Linden Street, just around the corner from the drive-by shooting. In that incident, multiple shots were fired and Ronald Pinel, 25, of Pittsfield, was killed. Two others were wounded, one of whom had already been wounded in the earlier incident.
 
Police say they recovered two handguns and "multiple items of ballistic and other forensic evidence." But after interviewing more than 50 people, they have received little cooperation and information.
 
"The investigative efforts of both the Pittsfield Police and the Massachusetts State Police have been extensive in working these cases. However, those efforts are hampered when residents have information that they are unwilling to share with investigators," Police Chief Michael Wynn said in a statement.
 
"The most efficient tool that we have to increase neighborhood safety is to remove violent offenders from neighborhoods. We rely on the community to assist us in those efforts, and encourage anyone with any information related to either of these incidents to contact investigators."
 
The district attorney's office is again asking anyone with information to contact the Police Department's detective bureau at 413-448-9705.
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