PITTSFIELD — A city man was ordered held on $30,000 bail on Monday in connection with the alleged January kidnapping and beating of a man over stolen marijuana.
Jonathan Pereira, 24, is the seventh person charged in the January incident — and he is the only one that investigators can place at all three locations involved in the case via evidence, including cell phone records, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano said
The six other defendants in the case have been released on personal recognizance or reduced bail. Yorlano asked for the high bond amid concerns regarding the seriousness of the charges and that Pereira may be flight risk due to out of state ties and travel around the time of the alleged assaults.
The expanding group of defendants each is alleged to have taken part in varying degrees in a bizarre plot to learn the location of between 15 and 20 pounds of stolen marijuana.
The marijuana was allegedly stolen by one of the victims, who then made arrangements to sell a pound of it. Investigators believe the intended recipients learned who had taken the drugs and conspired with others to lure the two victims to a remote location in Lee on Jan. 26, grabbed one of them at gunpoint, forced him into a vehicle and drove him to Pittsfield.
That man allegedly was brought into a basement of a home, where he was beaten with a bat and guns until he divulged where he'd hidden the marijuana.
Yorlano would not elaborate on the specifics of Pereira's alleged role in the incident; he said the case remains an ongoing investigation.
Pereira's attorney, Charles Dolan of Springfield, asked Judge Daniel Ford to consider releasing his client on personal recognizance or a smaller bail to keep more in line with the co-defendants in the case.
Ford declined, but agreed to allow the matter of bail and release to be taken up in Berkshire Superior Court in the near future.
Pereira pleaded not guilty on Monday to two counts each of armed assault with intent to rob, assault by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery and one count each of kidnapping, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and intimidation of a witness.
Attorney Raymond Jacoub, who represents co-defendant Emanuel Diaz, recently filed a motion to dismiss the charges against his client, but no decision on that motion has yet been rendered.
Pereira is due in court on July 19 for a pretrial hearing.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.