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Superior Court Briefs: April 24

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 24.
 
Quamel Batchelor, 21, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, and improper storage of a firearm.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on January 31, 2018.
 
Anthony Deordio, 43, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 bail. Deordio is accused of being in possession of child pornography between January 28, 2018 and March 27, 2018.
 
Joseph Mathews, 29, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 bail. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on March 8, 2018.
 
Jessica Trotter, 41, of Williamstown had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - her second offense - conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of cocaine - her second offense.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility on $50 bail as she is currently being held on a violation of probation on other charges. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on April 2, 2018.
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Adams Firefighters Battle Apartment Building Blaze

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters from Adams and Cheshire were able to contain a major structure fire on the thickly settled Maple Street early Thursday morning. 
 
No one was injured in the fire but two dogs were thought to be still inside. 
 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said he was the first on the scene at 60 Maple St. The blaze was first reported a little after midnight. 
 
"We had heavy fire on the second floor, heavy smoke showing," he said. "There was heavy heat right from the get-go."
 
Firefighters took up a defensive position and called in Cheshire Fire Department for mutual aid. Clarksburg Fire Department also sent a truck to cover the Adams station. 
 
Pansecchi said the fire was believed to have ignited in a kitchen on the second then worked its way into the attic and through the roof. 
 
The rear upper porch of the double-decker was engulfed in flames by 12:30 a.m. and about an hour later, the roof had burned through. One of the two brick chimneys collapsed, slightly damaging a nearby house. As the blaze was brought under control, thick smoke filled the air. 
 
Firefighters attacked with hoses on the rear and side of the building and used the ladder truck to reach the upper floors. Pansecchi said one hydrant ran out of water and a second one had to be opened. There were some issues in getting the trucks under some low hanging electrical wires that crossed the street to 60 Maple an adjacent house but firefighters were able to maneuver around them. 
 
It was not clear how many people were living in the building, which may have four apartments. Pansecchi said the first floor was occupied and those tenants were able to get out. There was no one in the upper floors at the time of the fire.
 
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Pansecchi said the state fire marshal was called and would be at the scene later Thursday morning.
 
The building dates to 1900 and is listed as being owned by MMD Properties LLC. It was most recently sold in 2013. 
 
Adams Ambulance and North Adams Ambulance services set up a rehab tent with water and coffee for the tired firefighters. Pansecchi called them a godsend and said two firefighters were checked out by the emergency medical technicians as a precaution. 
 
 "The guys did a great job," the fire chief said. "They worked their butts off."
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North Adams Firefighters Save Home From Garage Fire

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A chicken incubator is suspected as the cause of a devastating fire that destroyed a two-car garage and threatened a nearby home on Monday evening. 
 
Firefighters were able to save the home at 1664 South Church St. owned by Paul and Diane Lesure but the garage is a total loss.
 
Acting Fire Lt. Matt Labonte said the garage was fully involved upon arrival. "So we made our intentions on cooling down the house," he said. "The house was on fire on the back side so we made our hose lines to the house so nothing got inside." 
 
The Dutch-style garage had a full second story that had caved in within a half hour or so of the first calls at around 6 p.m. No one was home at the time and the owners came home to find the blaze already going. They were able to get their dog out of the house. 
 
"It first came in as a garage fire in back of McCann School. We got a few calls confirming it on the way here," Fire Director Stephen Meranti said, adding that the focus was on limiting fire damage to the single-family home and then containing the garage blaze. 
 
"He had a lot of equipment in there, motorcycles in there, a lot of stuff," he said. "We had guys working in both directions to keep it from spreading."
 
The blaze melted the vinyl siding off the north side and the back of the home and charring could be seen in the rear exterior. The ground was burned around the garage, which was separate from the house and set slightly back on the north side. All that was left of the garage was a pile of twisted metal and debris. 
 
Loud pops could be heard as canisters of fuel or other materials exploded in the conflagration. The house is on the hillside just north of the Adams line but black smoke could be seen billowing from the blaze from the downtown. 
 
Meranti said the cause has yet to be officially determined but he was leaning toward the incubator lamp because there was no other heat source in the building. It contained a woodstove but that hadn't been used in a while. 
 
The Fire Department ran into some trouble with a hydrant located directly in front of the property. Meranti said there was a pressure issue and the Water Department was looking into it. 
 
Firefighters were planning on a fire watch through the night in case the pile or house reignited. The power was shut off and the family was planning to go elsewhere for the night. North Adams Ambulance Service, Wire & Alarm, National Grid, and police also responded to the scene.
 
There was also a problem with spectators stopping on the road to watch the fire. The road is narrow with little room to pull off and the property was on a hill making access difficult. There was a lot of traffic at the time and those parking along the side made it difficult for the fire trucks to get in. Police shut down that section of road from Wheel Estates to the city line and began turning vehicles around. 
 
"There were a lot of spectators here. We would really appreciate it if they would stay clear of the scene," Meranti said. "We had issues getting apparatus in because there were so many people parking to watch on both sides of the road. ... We need people to stay clear just keep on going."
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Superior Court Briefs: April 11 - April 18

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, April 11.
 
Josaiah Bynum, 20, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of armed assault with intent to murder, and single counts of illegal possession of a firearm, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
 
He was released on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on October 2, 2017. He is accused of attempting to hard a 38-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman.
 
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, April 12.
 
Vivian Guillotte, 41, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of tramadol.
 
She was placed on one-year probation on the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute charge. The other one was placed on file.
 
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Guillotte's home on Chase Avenue on June 29, 2017.
 
A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
 
Luis Carmona, 39, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
 
His case was continued without a finding for one year. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Chase Avenue on June 29, 2017.
 
A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge Paul Smyth on Tuesday, April 17.
 
Michael Boulais, 32, of Hinsdale entered a not guilty plea on a single count of murder.
 
Boulais is accused of shooting his estranged girlfriend Kassedi Clark, 24, whose body was found inside a vehicle on Ashmere Drive on Friday, April 13, 2018. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 17.
 
Frank Rocco, 32, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
 
He was released on $3,500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Rocco's home on February 18, 2018.
 
William Ellsworth, 39, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense -, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - in connection with a motor vehicle stop on July 20, 2017. He also pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification care in connection with the execution of a search warrant on his home on March 2, 2018.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the drug charges. He was given concurrent time at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the ammunition charge.
 
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, April 18.
 
Scott Kearin, 31, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and a single count of trafficking in heroin.
 
He was released on $7,500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Chapel Street in Lee on February 18, 2018.
 
Autumn Leon, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal ownership of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Lanesborough on February 15, 2018.
 
Jaime Marby, 39, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on six counts of receiving stolen property over $250, and single counts of breaking and entering and larceny over $250.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. Marby is accused of breaking into a home in Hinsdale on March 8, 2016 and being in possession of stolen propery on January 16, 2018.
 
John McGee, 36, of Quincy had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on $1,500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 253 Wahconah Street in Pittsfield on February 2, 2018.
 
Jonathan Rice, 30, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of distribution of heroin and a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Rice is accused of selling heroin on December 8, 2017, December 12, 2017, December 21, 2017, January 15, 2018, and February 6, 2018 and conspiring with others to sell the drug between December 6, 2017 and February 18, 2018.
 
Carlos Sanchez-Rios, 23, of Holyoke had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and a single count of trafficking in heroin.
 
He was released on $10,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lee on February 18, 2018.
 
Robert Allen Scutt Jr., 28, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Lanesborough on February 15, 2018.
 
Tammy Zdon, 46, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of involuntary manslaughter and caretaker abuse on an elder.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. Zdon is alleged to be the caretaker of 72-year-old John Zdon, who died on August 28, 2016.
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North Adams Businesses Warned of Multiple Break-Ins

Staff Reports

This image of the suspect was taken off a security camera Friday morning. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are warning Main Street business owners about a series of break-ins that have occurred over the past few days. 
 
Moulton's Spectacle Shoppe was broken into sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning through the Main Street door with the burglar making off with cash and checks. About 1 a.m. on Friday, an individual broke into the Registry of Motor Vehicles and Berkshire Photography & Printing in the Berkshire Plaza. Nothing was taken from the RMV but clothing was stolen from Berkshire Printing. 
 
The suspect, described as a tall, thin black man, was wearing a parka with a furred-edge hood when captured by security cameras on Friday morning. He is believed to be using a pry bar to open doors and appears to have attempted entry into other locations. 
 
The incidents are still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact North Adams Police at 413-662-3105, Ext. 4210. 
 
In the meantime, police are recommending downtown business owners secure all their doors; make sure surveillance systems are active and time/date stamps are correct and active; lock up valuables; alert police and neighboring businesses if you see something out of the ordinary, such as doors being tampered with.
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