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Becket Man Sentenced to State Prison for Human Trafficking

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Becket man pleaded guilty on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court to human trafficking charges. 
 
Randy Lambach, 47, was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in state prison by Judge John Agostini on nine counts of human trafficking, seven counts of deriving support from prostitution, and single counts of intimidation of a witness, and conspiracy. 
 
Lambach had been charged with two counts of enticing a child under the age of 16, and single counts of open and gross lewdness, and dissemination of harmful matter to a minor. Agostini ordered him to serve five years concurrently on those charges and an additional five years probation. Lambach also pled guilty to a single count of rape. Agostini ordered him to serve five to seven years in state prison, concurrently, on that charge.
 
In total, he will serve 10 to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction and on probation for 10 years afterward.
 
The conditions of probation include that Lambach register with the sex offender registry board, have no contact with any of his victims, have no contact with children under the age of 18, complete sex offender, mental health, and drug and alcohol evaluations and comply with all related treatment recommendations and guidelines. He also must comply with drug screens and not purchase, possess or consume any regulated drugs without a valid prescription.
 
The Berkshire District attorney's office praised the significant effort of the Pittsfield Police Department for its lengthy investigation into the trafficking operation. The charges date back to 2014 and, for years, Lambach coerced women into forced prostitution.
 
"Human trafficking is one of the world's fastest growing criminal activities, operating on the same scale as the illegal trade of guns and drugs, and this case demonstrates that human trafficking occurs right here in our community," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. "My office is working with law enforcement to empower sex-trafficking victims who are often vulnerable women who are preyed upon by greedy and brutal people. We are grateful for the diligent collaboration with the Pittsfield Police Department in holding this perpetrator accountable and making our community safer for women and girls."
 
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North Adams Man Killed in MassPike Work-Site Accident

Staff Reports
BECKET, Mass. — A North Adams man was killed Thursday afternoon while working on the Massachusetts Turnpike near mile-marker 17.2.
 
Authorities say Brian M. Simard, 26, was killed in a "work site accident" at 1:45 p.m. Simard, a construction worker, was pronounced dead at the scene. His obituary can be found here.
 
"No further details will be released at this time as the accident remains under investigation," states a press release from the Berkshire district attorney's office. 
 
The westbound lane of the MassPike was blocked for nearly three hours. State police from the Westfield barracks are leading the investigation.
 
The bridge over Route 20 at that mile marker has been undergoing repairs this fall although it was not on the list for lane restrictions on Thursday.
 
The state police Collision Reconstruction, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Crime Scene and Berkshire detective units also responded to the scene and Occupational Safety and Health Administration was advised of the incident, according to authorities.
 
Complete write-thru at 1 p.m., Nov. 16; victim's identity added. Original post at 9:54 a.m., Nov. 16.
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Superior Court Briefs: September 22 - September 29

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, September 22

Michael Pahl, 24, of Bristol, Conn. had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, two counts of malicious destruction of personal property over $250 and a single count of larceny in a building.

Pahl was released on personal recognizance. It is alleged that Pahl broke in to two  homes in Becket between November 23, 2010 and December 8, 2010.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, September 27

Robert Whipple, 44, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct and 19 counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.

Whipple was sentenced to one to two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on two counts of dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct and 18 counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.

Whipple was placed on three years probation on the remaining possession charge. During the probation period he must undergo counseling, forfeit all computer equipment and can not own a phone or device capable of accessing the internet.

Whipple had child pornography on his home computer between December 3, 2005 and June 12, 2009.

Kevin Karch, 47, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to 40 counts of possession of visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.

He was sentenced to concurrent two to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on 39 of the counts. He was placed on three years probation on the other charge. During the probation period he must undergo counseling, forfeit all computer equipment and can not own a phone or device capable of accessing the internet.

Karch had images on his home computer in July, 2009 and February, 2010.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, September 29

Jon Gilmore, 21, of Pittsfield was found guilty by a jury on two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon and single counts of illegal possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail pending sentencing on Oct. 3.

Gilmore attempted to assault a 22-year-old man in Pittsfield on August 16, 2009.

Gilmore was found not guilty on a single count of armed assault with intent to murder.
 

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Alleged Thieves Plead Not-guilty in Court

Andy McKeever

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man accused of armed robbery of La Fogata Restaurant and a Becket man accused of a series of break-ins both entered not guilty pleas in Berkshire Superior Court on Friday.

Michael Swenson III, 19, of Tyler street had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on one count of armed robbery while masked and two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. He ordered to be help on $50,000 bail.

Swenson allegedly covered his face with a bandana and robbed the restaurant shortly after it closed last weekend with what was described as a black handgun. However, other reports stated that the gun that was used was a pellet gun. 

Michael Pieri, 25, of Becket entered not guilty pleas in Berkshire Superior Court on an array of charges.

Pieri is charged with 15 counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, six counts of larceny over $250, 15 counts of malicious destruction of personal property over $250, eight counts of larceny in a building,  four counts of receiving stolen property over $250, and single counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition with a firearm identification card, improper storage of a firearm and common and notorious thief.


Judge Daniel Ford released Pieri on personal recognizance.

The charges stem from a spree of house break-ins in Becket between November 23, 2010 and July 11, 2011.

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Structure Fire in Becket

Staff Reports

BECKET, Mass. — Firefighters are responding to a fully involved structure fire on Minstrels Way in Sherwood Forest. The report of a fire came in at about 3:30 p.m.

Smoke is pouring from the building and the Fire Department is calling for more equipment and manpower.

A tanker and engine have been requested from Otis Fire Department and Hinsdale is standing by in the station. An ambulance has also been called to the scene and an incident command team activated. Chester has also sent men and equipment.

Complicating matters are reports of a 600-pound propane tank at the back of the building.

Reports are from FireGround360.

The scene was cleared at 11 p.m., according to reports.

If anyone has more information on the fire, please post below.

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