Saturday September 29, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A Lanesborough man is being held without bail on gun charges after being arrested twice in two days.

According to police, John Valli, 55, was in violation of a permanent restraining order taken out by his ex-wife by being in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Valli says he was never served with the order.

Attorney Glynis Mac Veety, who represented him at his first arraignment on Wednesday, said Valli is a "middle-class businessman" with no record, who wasn’t read his rights or allowed to speak with a lawyer when first arrested by the Lanesborough Police.

The initial information that led to Valli’s arrest concerned his alleged purchase of a pistol, but it was never recovered by police. Law enforcement officials said they did recover a loaded magazine for a .22 caliber handgun from one of Valli’s vehicles.

Valli was arrested Tuesday night at his home and charged with violating a restraining order and unlawful possession of a firearm. A .22 caliber rifle was taken by police that night, according to a probable cause report.

On Wednesday, Valli pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on personal recognizance. That night, the Lanesborough Police and members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Valli’s Alice Avenue home, allegedly found one more rifle and a shotgun in the back of one of his vehicles along with ammunition inside his home.


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Valli was once again arrested and on Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to three felony gun charges and another restraining order violation.

Valli was held by Judge Michael J. Ripps without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Tuesday. If found to be a danger, Valli can be held for up to 90 days without bail.

Valli has hired attorney William A. Rota to represent him.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx