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Three Injured in Florida Plane Crash

FLORIDA, Mass. — Three people were injured when a small plane crashed in a wooded area off Church Street on Friday evening. 
 
According to state police, the plane was located at about 6:50 p.m. by state police patrols, the Florida Fire Department and Northern Berkshire EMS. Two adults and a teenager were taken to Berkshire Medical Center with minor injuries; a dog in the plane was unharmed. 
 
Authorities say the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing at Harriman & West Airport in North Adams when airport personnel lost contact with shortly before the crash. 
 
The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Authority and the Massachusetts Aeronautics division.
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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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Pittsfield Man Found Guilty of Rape, Assault & Battery

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man was convicted Monday of aggravated rape and assault charges by a Berkshire Superior Court jury.
 
Anthony Miller, 51, was found guilty of aggravated rape, strangulation, kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a family or household member, and witness intimidation. Judge John Agostini will sentence him on Thursday, Dec. 19.
 
Miller severely beat, strangled, and raped the victim multiple times earlier this year. He then prevented her from leaving the home. He was arrested and arraigned in March and held without bail at the House of Corrections. Miller has a lengthy rap sheet and prior convictions of violent behavior. 
 
"This is another example of how my office aggressively prosecutes perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault. We are holding Mr. Miller accountable for his actions thanks to a great investigation by the Pittsfield Police Department, the courage of the victim to tell her story, and resolute prosecution by my office," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
 
"We are addressing the serious issue of domestic violence in Berkshire County through prevention, education, and fighting for justice on behalf of victims."
 
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Megan Tesoniero.
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Authorities Investigating 3 Suspicious Fire on Mount Washington

MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass. — Authorities are investigating arson in the case of three houses that burned on West Road early Sunday morning. 
 
Two were owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and one was privately owned. 
 
The Egremont Fire Department was dispatched at 1:15 a.m. for a report of a fire in the area of 25 West St. Both the DCR structures were fully involved and a single-family home across the street was also on fire, according to Chief Joseph Schnieder.
 
The first alarm with a tanker task force was requested, bringing in mutual aid from Great Barrington and Sheffield and Copake, Hillsdale, and Craryville, N.Y., said Schnieder.
 
The two DCR properties, including a historical home, were destroyed. No one was injured. The three fires are being investigation as if they are connected and are considered suspicious.
 
The investigation is ongoing by the Egremont Fire Department, and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of the Berkshire District Attorney. Anyone with information about these fires should call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229 or the Berkshire Detective Unit at 413-499-1112.
 
Updated Dec. 16 at 1:55 p.m. with more information from Fire Chief Joseph Schnieder.
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Adams Firefighters Respond to Apartment Blaze

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