Thursday March 1, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- An alleged gang member from North Adams pleaded guilty to gun charges on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court and was sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Jeffrey Philpot Jr., 30, of Francis Avenue, admitted stealing a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol on June 14, but alleged the idea wasn’t his, but rather that of Christopher A. Letalien, his co-defendant in the case.

Police and prosecutors say the two men stole the gun from Letalien’s father’s home in North Adams after Philpot inquired about getting his hands on a gun.

Philpot is a Bloods gang member, according to law enforcement officials.

On Wednesday, Philpot appeared before Judge John Agostini with his attorney Richard D. LeBlanc and pleaded guilty to single counts of larceny of a firearm and conspiracy to commit larceny of a firearm.

Agostini ordered Philpot to serve concurrent two- to four-year sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

Single counts of illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with a prior violent crime or drug offense were dismissed at the request of the District Attorney’s Office.

Letalien, 27, of Biltmore Avenue, has pleaded not guilty to similar charges. His case remains pending.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Marianne Shelvey.

The investigation was conducted by members of the North Adams Police Department and the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.