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Pittsfield Investigating Three Robberies
By: Pittsfield Police Department On: 05:39PM / Tuesday July 05, 2011
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is investigating three robberies that have occurred in the last three weeks.

On Sunday, June 12, the Convenience Plus on Linden Street was robbed at gun point.  The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, with black hair and a beard.  The suspect was described as wearing all black.   The weapon was described as a black handgun.

On Saturday, June 18, the Convenience Plus on Tyler Street was robbed at gun point.  The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds.  The suspect was described as wearing a gray fleece jacket, blue and gray striped pajama pants, and a bucket style hat with an argyle pattern which was black, white, and gray in color.  The weapon was described as a black handgun.

On Friday, June 24 the CVS on West Street was robbed.  The suspect stated he had a gun but he did not display it.  The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 5’10” – 6 feet tall, and weighing approximately 170 pounds.  The suspect was described as wearing a blue nylon pullover jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers, and a pink hat.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

 

 



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Superior Court Briefs: June 23
By: Andy McKeever On: 05:02PM / Monday June 27, 2011
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Cases heard before Judge May Lou Rup on Thursday, June 23.

Vanessa Alicea, 21, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of cocaine, one count of distribution of benzylpiperazine, one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, four counts of drug violation in a school zone and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Alicea was sentenced to two to three years in state prison at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the cocaine charges. She was given concurrent three to four year sentences on the school zone charges and she was given concurrent sentences on the remaining charges.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred in Pittsfield between January 7, 2011 and May 5, 2011.



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EV Worldwide Partner Guilty Of Fraud
By: Andy McKeever On: 05:05PM / Thursday June 23, 2011
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Updated December 1, 2011 at 4:11 p.m. : Christopher Willson was sentenced on Tuesday to one year and one day in federal prison and must pay $100,000 in restitution to the Federal Transit Administration and $215,138 to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel in Boston, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


BOSTON — Christopher Willson, who dazzled Pittsfield in 1999 with promises of bringing 1,000 jobs to former General Electric land, was convicted Tuesday for taking the money and running.

The former chief scientist and business partner with EV Worldwide LLC from 2000 to 2005 was convicted in federal court Tuesday on defrauding the federal government of more than $700,000, according to multiple reports from The Associated Press. The conviction was on six counts of wire fraud.

EV Worldwide received up to  $1.35 million in federal grant money to start up a company developing electric batteries for public buses. The company later reeled in additional grant money. However, the money required an equal match.

EV Worldwide was later accused of doctoring paperwork to show that match. The verdict found Willson guilty of obtaining more than $700,000 after submitting 10 fake or inflated invoices that claimed to match the grant money.

Willson faces a maximum of 120 years in prison and will return to court for sentencing on Oct. 6.

EV Worldwide had the city buzzing in the early part of the millennium with the grant money. Pittsfield officials jumped on board with the idea by granting the company an additional $250,000 from the GE Economic Development Fund to move into a vacant industrial building — the GL&V Development Center at 448 Hubbard Ave.

The company was going to develop a nickel-hydrogen battery to feed into what was, at the time, expected to be a booming market in electric and hybrid vehicles under its subsidiary ElectraStor LLC.

The company never got off the ground.

In 2001, residents saw the first signs of trouble when the state began probing the city's grant agreement during an investigation of the city's finances. The other shoe dropped in 2008; then EV Worldwide CEO Michael J. Armitage was charged with fraud and money laundering.

In 2010, Armitage signed a plea agreement admitting to misusing up to $4 million in federal grant money between 2000 and 2006.



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Former Adams Officer Sentenced On Child Porn Charges
By: Andy McKeever On: 05:40PM / Wednesday June 22, 2011
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Adams police sergeant was sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail on child pornography charges.

Alan Vigiard was sentenced in Berkshire Superior Court on 10 counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct. Judge Daniel Ford sentenced Vigiard to two years at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on nine of those charges.

On the remaining count he was placed on five years probation with the condition that he turn in all computers and/or media storage devices, not possess any pornography, undergo counseling, register as a sex offender and obey all probate court orders.

Vigiard was investigated after a folder with pornographic images was found on a CD sent to the district attorneys. Vigiard was caught viewing pornography on a police computer at the station on Oct. 29, 2009.

He was placed on administrative leave and then resigned. As of last year, he was receiving retirement benefits accrued during his service but will lose those if the retirement board determines his crimes were linked to his employment.

He pled guilty to the charges last month. A single count of lasciviously posing a child in a state of nudity was dismissed at the request of the commonwealth.

The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and members of the Adams Police Department.



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Superior Court Briefs: June 13 - June 15
By: Andy McKeever On: 04:29PM / Wednesday June 22, 2011
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Cases heard before Judge May Lou Rup on Monday, June 13.

Mackenzie Tarjick
, 33, of Peru had not a guilty plea entered on her behalf on one count of reckless endangerment of a child.

Tarjick was released on personal recognizance on the condition that she have no contact with the alleged victim. The incident is alleged to have occurred in Windsor between March 1, 2006 and April 30, 2010 involving a 14-year-old girl.

Rafael Martinez, 51, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of distribution of methadone, drug violation within a school zone and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Martinez was released on personal recognizance. The incidents allegedly occurred in North Adams between November 1, 2010 and November 25, 2010.

Cases heard before Judge May Lou Rup on Tuesday, June 14.

Mark Welch
, 44, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Welch was released on personal recognizance. It is alleged that he conspired to sell drugs between October 14, 2010 and October 21, 2010.

Lawrence Posey, 33, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on seven counts of distribution of cocaine and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Posey was released on $1,000 bail. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield, Dalton and New Ashford between June 1, 2010 and June 8, 2010.

Jody Perkins, 41, of Pittsfield had not a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Perkins was released on personal recognizance. IT is alleged that she conspired to sell drugs on October 14, 2010 and October 21, 2010.

Shannon Luczynski, 30, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of oxymorphone - his second offense - and one count of drug violation within a park zone.

Luczynski was released on personal recognizance. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in North Adams between Jan. 28 and Feb. 10.

Cases heard before Judge May Lou Rup on Wednesday, June 15.


Tracy Thompson, 49, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of distribution of cocaine, drug violation in a park zone and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Thompson was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100 bail. The charges stem from incidents that occurred in Pittsfield on December 10, 2010.



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