Wednesday August 1, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A city man was sentenced to up to eight years in prison on Tuesday on 18 drug and weapons charges stemming from a February 2011 police raid on his home and other locations across Pittsfield.

Tuesday in Berkshire Superior Court, Jeremy M. Stanton, 26, admitted illegally possessing three handguns, cocaine, ecstasy and oxycodone as well as trafficking in cocaine and illegal pills.

Judge John A. Agostini sentenced him to between five and eight years in the Massachusetts Correctional Facility at Cedar Junction.

The judge's sentence was in line with a plea deal between the Berkshire District Attorney's Office and Stanton's attorney, Timothy J. Shugrue.

Stanton pleaded guilty to lesser charges and agreed to serve the prison time. Shugrue said they had been in negotiations in the case for more than a year.

Stanton was at the center of a 2011 Berkshire County Drug Task Force investigation into illegal drug sales in the city. Stanton ran a lucrative drug operation supplying both dealers and users throughout Pittsfield and used several city residences "to store, package, take orders for, distribute and store proceeds from his illegal drug distribution operation," police said at the time.

Stanton was arrested after a series of coordinated raids on Feb. 23, 2011, in which police say they turned up about 2,000 painkillers, 600 ecstasy pills, 48 grams of cocaine, two pot plants and three handguns, including a .22-caliber Smith & Wesson, a .357 Magnum and a .9 mm Keltee.

On Tuesday, Stanton pleaded guilty to three counts of drug distribution, three counts of conspiracy to violate the drug laws, and 12 gun-related charges. He has already served close to 11 2 years awaiting the outcome of the trial.

Stanton is still facing marijuana possession with the intent to distribute charges in Virginia from 2008.

Law enforcement officials from that state never came to come pick him up, according to his lawyer. Shugrue said he hopes to resolve that case as well.