PITTSFIELD -- A couple from Adams who were selling heroin to support their drug habits pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with the intent to distribute on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court. One of the defendants will be heading to jail, the other to continued drug counseling.
Matthew R. King, 31, and 25-year-old Jessica L. Marino appeared before Judge John A. Agostini and pleaded guilty to charges related to a Berkshire County Drug Task Force raid on the couple's Spring Street apartment on March 13, 2012 that turned up a small amount of heroin and some cash.
Police said they witnessed what they believed was two drug deals by the couple shortly before they executed a search warrant on the residence. While police turned up only nine bags of heroin and a little more than $400 in cash, both defendants admitted to drug dealing, according to Second Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert W. Kinzer III, and were charged with intent to distribute heroin.
According to the prosecutor, King blamed himself for getting his girlfriend hooked on heroin.
A note found during the police raid, written from King to Marino, discussed how he hoped he wouldn't end up back in jail and wished that they could both get clean. King was shooting 30 bags of heroin a day while Marino was snorting five or six a day, said Kinzer.
"The were selling to pay their rent and support their drug habits," the prosecutor told the court.
Under a joint plea between their attorneys and the DA's Office, King was sentenced to 18 months at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction to be served beginning April 18, when he finishes his methadone program. He will also serve a year of probation for a charge of conspiracy to violate the drug laws.
Marino was given time served, 36 days, for the possession charge and had her case continued without a finding of guilt for six months on her conspiracy charge.
The couple must refrain from using illegal drugs and undergo testing and counseling.
King's charge of possession with the intent to distribute was knocked down from a second offense to a first offense. He was represented by attorney Jill Sheldon. Marino was represented by attorney Joseph P. Colonna.