PITTSFIELD — A Lee man who had been charged with assault and kidnapping in an alleged abduction and beating case is now facing a lone conspiracy count.
Jay P. Strezynski, 25, was released on personal recognizance Tuesday after pleading not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to a charge of conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Strezynski was the first of several people charged in the complex plot to recover between 15 and 20 pounds of marijuana that was apparently stolen during a delivery and retrieval operation.
He initially was held on $10,000 bail in late January when he was first arraigned in district court on charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery and motor vehicle larceny. His bail was reduced to $500 on March 4, according to his attorney Lori Levinson.
He allegedly was involved in the conspiracy to sell some of the stolen marijuana. 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.
Five other defendants implicated in the alleged plot were also released on their own recognizance provided they have no contact with the two alleged victims in the case.
A seventh suspect, Jonathan Pereira, 24, of Pittsfield, was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday on 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.
Pereira was ordered held on $30,000 bail amid concerns he may be a flight risk. That bail is likely to be reviewed in the coming days.
According to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano, Pereira is the only named defendant to this point that can be placed at each of the three locations involved in the case.
Strezynski is due back in court on July 28 for a pretrial hearing.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.