PITTSFIELD — A city man facing sentencing next month on drug charges is pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a new narcotics charge.
Lemarr S. Talley, 32, was arrested on Nov. 18 and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (second offense) following the execution of a search warrant at his Linden Street home.
He pleaded guilty in September to charges of trafficking in cocaine and possession of heroin with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 3 years in state prison, but he was granted a stay of that sentence by Judge John Agostini. Prosecutors did not object to the request for the stay.
Agostini warned Talley at the time that, should he fail to show up for sentencing or get into any new legal trouble before then, he may be subject to a much harsher sentence.
There was no discussion of a change in Talley's sentence at Tuesday's arraignment.
Talley told Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday that he planned to represent himself on the new charge.
Ford interviewed Talley to ensure he was making that decision with full awareness of the rights he was giving up and the legal challenges he may face by doing so.
Talley — who informed the court he holds a paralegal certificate — said he understood and wished to move forward as his own legal counsel.
Ford offered to assign Pittsfield defense attorney Marc C. Vincelette as stand-by counsel, but Talley balked, claiming he had issues with Vincelette's representation in the past, prompting Ford to assign attorney Raymond Jacoub in his stead.
According to police, members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed search warrants for Talley, his home and his car on Nov. 18.
He was allegedly found with 16 individually packaged pieces of crack cocaine secreted in his socks that he told police he had just purchased for his own personal use.
Police estimated the street value of the seized cocaine between $640 and $800.
Talley's bail on his older case was revoked at his district court arraignment and he will continue to be held in custody pending a hearing on Jan. 4 to impose sentence on Talley's earlier case and update the status of his new one.