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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Pittsfield Seeks Solutions to Daytime Warming Shelters for Homeless

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer this week said the city of Pittsfield is feeling discouraged from the lack of community organizations willing to host a warming shelter that will house homeless individuals during the hours that the St. Joseph's temporary winter shelter on Maplewood Avenue is closed.

"We're concerned too, and we're feeling quite discouraged that a number of our community partners have declined our request to help with a daytime warming center but we're not going to give up," she said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio addressed the mayor with two petitions in regard to the homeless population.

Maffuccio requested that the mayor, or other departments or organizations, provide an update on the plans for a warming station for the homeless and that the mayor develops a task force for the purpose of developing a permanent housing solution for chronically homeless residents.

These petitions were both referred to Tyer by the council.

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