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Suspected Pittsfield Arsonist Arraigned

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man accused of setting fires in four places in September was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday.
 
Phillip Jordan is facing four counts of burning a dwelling house. He was ordered by Judge John Agostini to be held without bail. Jordan is being represented by Attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo.
 
The charges originated from fires allegedly intentionally set on September 22, 2018. That evening there were four fires started - the largest at Jordan's home on Appleton Avenue. The other firsts were reported on Fort Hill Avenue, Ridge Avenue, and then on Brown Street. 
 
No one was injured in any of the blazes. Police later identified Jordan as a suspect but he had fled the area. He was arrested at the Canadian border by U.S. Customers and Border Patrol agents at the Highgate Port of Entry in Vermont two days later without incident. 
 
Jordan was charged in Vermont on a fugitive from justice charge and was later extradited back to Massachusetts. The 59-year old is now being held pending a dangerousness hearing.
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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 13

Staff Reports
Cases heard on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
 
Isaiah Calderon, 22, of Holyoke was arraigned on charges of illegal possession of a firearm - his second offense - illegal possession of heroin with intent to distribute, armed career felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
 
The charges stem from a traffic stop in Pittsfield on November 10, 2018. Calderon was ordered to be held on $10,000 bail.
 
Kacey Caprari, 38, of North Adams was arraigned on charges of heroin, trafficking in cocaine, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, improper storage of a firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
Caprari was arrested on January 18, 2019, when officers were executing a search warrant on her home. She was ordered to be held on $15,000 bail.
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Bomb Threat Forces Evacuation Of Spectrum Health In Pittsfield

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of Spectrum Health on Merrill Road Thursday morning.
 
Police say an individual called the facility at 10:10 a.m. saying there was a bomb in the building was would explode 10 minutes later.
 
Police, fire, and paramedics responded and performed a search of the building.
 
"We received a call for a bomb threat at this establishment today. Upon arrival staff already had everybody evacuated from the building. At that time, staff, Pittsfield Police Department, and the Pittsfield Fire Department did a thorough search of the premise and did not locate any device," Lt. Thomas Dawley said.
 
Approximately 25 to 30 people were temporarily forced out of the building at the time. First responders staged on Laurel Street and at about 10:40 were let back into the building after the search was completed. 
 
"We are trying to locate where the call originated from. At this time we don't know where it came from but we do have investigators on it," Dawley said.
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Adams Man Charged in Drug Importation Scheme

BOSTON — Daniel Borer of Adams is accused of importing synthetic drugs from China through the U.S. Postal Service and using them to manufacture "massive wholesale quantities of smokeable synthetic cannabinoids" for sale throughout the United States. 
 
Borer, 42, and his alleged accomplice, postal worker Josephine McLaughlin, 65, of Stoneham, were arrested Thursday by law enforcement officials and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessey in Boston. Their cases were transferred to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in the Southern District of New York.
 
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of New York said Jonathan Riendeau, 38, of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., who operated several websites on which he sold the drugs, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government.
 
The government charges that Borer and McLaughlin operated the import scheme from at least February 2014 until this month. SSC, which can be addictive, are often marketed as safe, legal alternatives to marijuana. In fact, SSC are not safe, according to government officials, and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, more dangerous or even life-threatening.
 
The synthetics, colloquially referred to as K2 or Spice, were sent through the mail to locations throughout the Unitd States. Some of the SSC distributed by the scheme were branded with colorful graphics and distinctive names, including "Dead Man Walking," "Klimax," "Zero Gravity," "Twilite," "Psycho," and "Get Real." The branded SSC were sometimes marked "not for human consumption," or "potpourri." Other of the SSC were distributed in bulk quantities. 
 
"Trafficking of synthetic cannabinoids – sometimes called K2 or Spice – poses a serious threat to public health and safety. Packaged attractively to appeal to teenagers and young adults, synthetic cannabinoids are in reality a toxic cocktail that can be very dangerous to consume," Berman said in a press release. "As alleged, Daniel Borer and Josephine McLaughlin imported massive quantities of synthetic cannabinoids and distributed them in smokeable form to retail dealers throughout the United States. Thanks to our law enforcement partners, Borer and McLaughlin have been arrested and their dangerous business has been dismantled."
 
Borer and McLaughlin are each charged with three counts of conspiring unlawfully to import and distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues. Each count can carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
 
Riendeau pled guilty on Jan. 31 to six counts: three counts of conspiracy unlawfully to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues; two counts of unlawful importation of controlled substances and controlled substance analogues; and one count of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance.  Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 
 
The case is being investigated by the New York Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and with the aide of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force and state police assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert B. Sobelman is in charge of the prosecution. 
 
The charges contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. v Daniel Borer by on Scribd

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North Adams Firefighters Respond to Stove Fire

Fire Chief Stephen Meranti photographs the controls of a stove that caught fire on Monday.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters responded to a stove fire at 133 Reed St. on Monday afternoon. 
 
The appliance was quickly removed from the house and the area ventilated. The A shift was initially called in to cover the station but the scene was cleared fairly quickly. 
 
The call came in at about 3:30 p.m. Two trucks, police and Northern Berkshire EMS responded to the scene. Reed Street is located near the top of Gallup Street. 
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