Local, State Police Arrest Four, Seize Drugs, Cash & Firearms

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local law enforcement arrested four people and siezed more than 13,000 bags heroin, cash and drugs on Tuesday after several months investigation. 
 
Raekwan Jackson, 24, of Springfield; 25-year-old Ka'refi Hillery, 25, of Woonsocket, R.I.; Shawn Sanders, 27, of Dorchester, and Bertram Oram, 23, of Springfield were arrested during the Tuesday night operation.
 
The investagation involved the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Berkshire County Sheriff's Office and the Pittsfield Police Department.
 
At approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the Task Force and partner agencies executed multiple search warrants in Pittsfield after observing the suspects arrive at a hotel on West Housatonic Street. Task Force members, in coordination with Hampden County State Police Detective Unit, then executed search warrants on two residences in Springfield. Law enforcement's surveillance and coordinated investigative measures linked the Pittsfield location to Springfield-area base of operation.
 
In total, police seized approximately 13,500 bags of heroin, three firearms and approximately $8,000 in cash.
 
"I thank my law enforcement partners for their dedication to this long-term investigation. Securing the search warrants required painstaking investigation," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. "The opioid epidemic has devastated families in our community. Our strategy is to provide community services for those with substance abuse disorder to reduce demand while focusing our investigations and prosecutions on those who saturate our community with dangerous drugs and guns."
 
Central Berkshire District Court arraigned Hillery, Sanders, and Oram on charges of trafficking in heroin with 200 grams or more. The court arraigned Jackson on the same charge plus three counts of possession of a firearm without a license to carry, three counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, three counts of improper storage of a firearm, four counts of possession of a large capacity feeding device, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card, and armed career felon.
 
The DA requested the court hold the defendants without the right to bail pre-trial under the dangerousness statute. Judge Jennifer Tyne scheduled a dangerousness hearing for Friday.
 
Providing additional assistance to Tuesday's seizure were troopers assigned to the Hampden County District Attorney's Office, the Hampden County Narcotics Task Force, FBI Western Mass Gang Task Force, North Adams Police, Springfield Police and the Attorney General's Office.

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District Attorney Launches 'High-Risk' Team to Address Domestic Violence

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Cathy Felix talks about her daughter, Julie Shade, a victim of domestic violence who was murdered by her husband. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire District Attorney's Office has launched a new effort to address domestic and sexual abuse in the region.
 
District Attorney Andrea Harrington, joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, on Thursday introduced a Domestic Violence High Risk Team designed to bring multiple disciplines together to strengthen social service and law enforcement responses to domestic violence. The DA's office has also created a new position of a domestic violence coordinator who will work with the team and develop intervention plans.
 
The initiative continues a campaign promise Harrington made to prioritize domestic violence and develop a team of made up of representatives across several disciplines to create a coordinated response. 
 
"We are using our power to dismantle a culture of violence against women and girls," she said. "Being the first female district attorney [in Berkshire County], being the first anything, being a woman in power in particular, and we have a lot of powerful women standing here behind me today, that in and of its self is meaningless unless we use that power to bring equity and human rights and justice to our community."
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