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Superior Court Briefs: November 1 - November 10
Staff Reports On: 04:37PM / Monday November 14, 2011
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 1

Jon Gilmore, 21, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon.

Gilmore was sentenced to two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The sentence is concurrent with the time Gilmore is already serving on related charges.

The charges stem from an incident involving a 22-year-old man in Pittsfield on August 16, 2009.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 8


Richard St. Louis, 60, of North Dartmouth had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of indecent assault and batter on a person with intellectual disabilities, give counts of incident assault and batter on a disabled person, two counts of rape and single counts of indecent exposure, accosting a person of the opposite sex and intimidation of a witness.

St. Louis was released on personal recognizance.

The incidents allegedly occurred in Hancock between January 1, 2008 and September 16, 2011 and involved a 23-year-old female.

Marley Roraback, 21, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of accessory after the fact - breaking and entering - and receiving stolen property over $250.

Roraback was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on Aug. 17.

Joseph Berry, 21, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 23 counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, 20 counts of malicious destruction of personal property, seven counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, seven counts of illegal possession of a firearm, two counts of breaking into a depository, two counts of larceny and single counts of receiving or possessing a stolen motor vehicle, possession of burglarious tools, receiving stolen property over $250 and common and notorious thief.

Berry was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a series of break-ins between June 1 and Sept. 13.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, November 10


Kareem Wright, 33, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single counts of armed robbery while masked.

Wright was sentences to seven to eight years in state prison at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Wright robbed a clerk at O'Connell's Convenience Plus on Tyler Street on Oct. 27.

Ricky Reynolds, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal possession of a firearm and single counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in connection with a motor vehicle stop in Lenox on Aug. 10. He also pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, improper storage of a firearm and possession of ammunition without a firearm in connection to a June 24, 2010 incident in Pittsfield, when Reynolds shot himself in the leg.

Reynolds was sentenced to three to four years in state prison at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the illegal possession of a firearm charges and given concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on the other charges.

Taequan Carter, 19, of Pittsfield was found guilty by a jury on one counts of assault and batter by means of a dangerous weapon. The jury found Carter not guilty on armed assault with intent to murder.

The jury found that Carter stabbed a 39-year-old man on July 29, 2010 in Pittsfield.

Carter was ordered to be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Sentencing will occur on Monday, Nov. 14.

Scott Graham, 34, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.

Graham was released on personal recognizance. Graham was allegedly in possession of child pornography in Pittsfield on July 19, 2010.

David Clerc, 31, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of knowingly possession visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.

Clerc was released on personal recognizance. Clerc was allegedly in possession of child pornography in Adams on January 25, 2010.

Tory Blanchard, 36, of Florida pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Blanchard was sentenced to 30 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incident occurred between November 1, 2010 and November 25, 2010.




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Teen Accused of High School Internet Threat Arraigned
Staff Reports On: 12:53PM / Monday November 14, 2011
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An Adams man accused of making threats on Facebook against Drury High School students last week was arraigned on multiple charges Monday morning in Northern Berkshire District Court.

Zachary Barbeau, 19, of Commercial Street appeared before Judge Paul Vrabel.

Barbeau had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of threatening the use of a deadly weapon and causing disruption of a school, threat to commit murder and disruption of a public assembly.

Vrabel released him on personal recognizance; he will be back in court on Dec. 13 for a bind-over hearing.

Barbeau was arrested on Thursday after police tracked the Internet service provider address connected to the Facebook threat. The alleged threat was discovered on Thursday, Nov. 10, and Barbeau, a 2008 Drury graduate, was arrested later that day.  

The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, state troopers assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and members of the North Adams and Adams Police departments. 


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Two Arrested In Drug Raid On Williams College Campus
Staff Reports On: 04:49PM / Friday November 11, 2011
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police arrested two individuals on drug charges after raiding a Williams College residence on Wednesday.

Angel Oritz, 19, of Bronx, N.Y., and Cristine Ihara, 21, of Gardena, Calif., were charged with possession of Class D substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute, possession of a Class B substance (Dilaudid) with the intent to distribute and drug violation in a school zone, according to police. They were released on personal recognizance pending arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court on Wednesday.

Police said they raided Dodd House, where the two lived, on Wednesday night. Officers recovered multiple small bags containing marijuana, a bag of Dilaudid tablets and two bags filled with a "unknown powdery substances." One of those substances being blue and the other being white.

Police also say they recovered numerous pill bottles containing different prescription pills, paraphernalia items used for packaging, a scale and paraphernalia for personal use of illegal drugs.

Dodd House, on Mission Park Drive on the Williams campus, is located less than 1,000 feet from Williamstown Elementary School.


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Facebook Threat Regarding Drury High Leads to Arrest
By Andy McKeever On: 03:45PM / Thursday November 10, 2011
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Updated Nov. 10, 2011, at 5:23 p.m. and rewritten throughout; updated with further clarification on the reported "lockdown" at 9:16 a.m., Nov. 11.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Drury High School officials took extra safety precautions and police arrested a suspect Thursday afternoon after someone posted a threat on social media site Facebook earlier in the morning.

Local officials were mum on details early Thursday but a statement from the superintendent's office said an incident had occurred but there was no evidence that there was any imminent danger to the people in the building. Classes resumed as normal but after-school activities were canceled for a faculty meeting.

According to the district attorney's office, Zach Barbeau, 19, of Adams was arrested in connection with the threat. He was charged with single counts of threatening the use of a deadly weapon and causing the disruption of a school, threat to commit murder, and disruption of a public assembly. He was released pending arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday morning.

Barbeau, a former student, allegedly posted the threat on a fictitious account. Investigators with the state police assigned to the district attorney's office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force as well as North Adams and Adams police collaborated with Facebook and Verizon Internet Services to track the posting to Barbeau's address.

Investigators say he did not have access to a gun and had no intention of carrying out the threat.

After the threat was posted, school officials say they took additional safety measures while police investigated the claims. The district attorney's office said the school was put on lock down; the superintendent's office said that was not the case.

According to a student, who did not wish to be named, police were not allowing students to drive up to the school after classes began and the K9 officer and dog were in the school.

Students were not allowed to use their cell phones nor were they allowed to be in the hallways without permission; several were told to stay away from the windows. Existing rules, such as the school district's cell phone policy, were being followed, according to the superintendent's office, and reports of a K9 officer inside the school and other police action was incorrect.

The rumor was that it was another student who had posted the threats. And while the regular rules may have been enforced, the atmosphere was charged.

"It was tense ... it was like high maintenance," said the student.

Several parents posted on Facebook that they went to the high school and removed their children. According to the superintendent's office, 20 students out the 554 enrolled at Drury were dismissed early.


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Pittsfield Firefighter Sues City Over Promotion
Staff Reports On: 03:38PM / Wednesday November 09, 2011
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The U.S. Justice Department has filed a complaint against the city claiming officials had violated federal laws when firefighter Jeffrey Rawson was denied a promotion because he missed work while serving in the Navy Reserve.

Rawson, backed by the Justice Department, is suing for retroactive back pay, benefits, seniority and the promotion that he would have received if he had gotten a lieutenant job in September 2010. The lawsuit states Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski cited absenteeism as the reason for denying the promotion and giving the promotion to the firefighter who scored just below Rawson on a November 2009 promotion test.

"No servicemember should be prevented from advancing in his or her civil career because of military duties," Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez said in a press release on Wednesday. "The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the rights of those who, through their bravery and sacrifice, secure the rights of all Americans."

According to media reports, Rawson was called to active military duty from October 2007 until November 2008, from February to June 2009 and from July to September of 2009 and the promoted firefighter had an "exemplary work record with minimal use of sick leave." Rawson claims the city violated federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against military reservists.

Additionally, Rawson claims the city refused to reinstate him on the promotion list after he complained to the U.S. Labor Department’s Veterans Employment and Training Service.

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