NORTH ADAMS — Police have arrested a man who they believe sold heroin linked to a recent string of overdoses — including one that was fatal.
Brian Ducksworth, 25, of Hartford, Conn., has been under investigation since March for allegedly dealing drugs from the Jackson Street apartment of Alexandra D'Aloia, 20, according to police.
Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force raided the second-floor apartment at 10 p.m. on Monday and discovered 3.9 grams of heroin, packaging paraphernalia and more than $480 in cash.
Police based their initial search warrant application on information from six confidential informants, including one that alleged the heroin was laced with fentanyl, according to a criminal complaint filed by Berkshire County Drug Task Force Officer Joshua Zustra.
The criminal complaint details the four overdoses they believe to be linked to Ducksworth's heroin, beginning with the Nov. 9 overdose of a Barbour Street man. An officer responding to that call spotted bags marked "K.O.D."
In a second overdose, emergency personnel responded Nov. 11 to an overdose on Holbrook Street that they also believe is linked to the "K.O.D." heroin.
On Nov. 17, Curtis Hall Jr., 23, overdosed at the Brayton Hill apartments and was pronounced dead at Berkshire Medical Center. Bags of "K.O.D." heroin were found in his pockets, according to the police report.
A fourth overdose, on Dec. 1, was reported by Williamstown Police to the task force. That case also is believed to have involved heroin allegedly sold by Duckworth.
During Monday's raid, officers discovered the 3.9 grams of loose heroin on the bottom of the bathtub, which they believe indicates Duckworth was trying to dispose of it. They also found loose, empty bags atop the refrigerator, some of which were already stamped as "K.O.D."
In total, the officers estimate the amount of loose heroin seized to be enough to package about 130 to 156 bags for individual use. The estimated value of the heroin, if bagged and sold individually on the street, is $1,300 to $1,560.
Ducksworth and D'Aloia each pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to single counts of class A drug possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Ducksworth was held in lieu of $2,000 cash bail or $20,000 surety; D'Aloia was released on her personal recognizance on the condition that she be placed in rehabilitation until she is discharged appropriately.
Ducksworth is next scheduled to appear in district court on Jan. 4, while D'Aloia is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 15.