PITTSFIELD -- A city couple pleaded not guilty to felony drug dealing charges on Thursday after a police raid allegedly turned up crack cocaine and heroin in their apartment.
The Pittsfield Police and members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the White Terrace home of Wilselino Salgado Jr., 25, and Annette Matta, 24, on Wednesday morning at about 10:30 and allegedly turned up 22.5 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of $2,500, 16 packets of heroin, a small amount of phencyclidine (PCP), and drug-dealing paraphernalia.
During the raid, Salgado allegedly told police where the drugs were located and said Matta wasn’t involved. The drugs allegedly were found in her purse.
Police said they had made controlled drug buys at the couple’s home, which was being used as "a base of operation to distribute cocaine and heroin."
The couple’s two youngest children, ages 2 and 4, were home at the time. They were taken by a family friend, as were two older children who were at school.
Police called the state Department of Children & Families, which is investigating, according to the report.
On Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court, the couple went before Judge Michael J. Ripps and pleaded not guilty to felony distribution of crack cocaine (more than 18 grams), possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, and misdemeanor possession of PCP. The last charge stems from marijuana laced with the drug that the couple used recreationally and that was located in the home, according to the police report.
Ripps ordered Salgado, represented by attorney Michelle Mechta, released on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. Matta was released on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. Her lawyer is Joseph P. Colonna.
The case is likely to go to Superior Court. If convicted of the cocaine trafficking charges, the couple is facing up to 15 years each with a two-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
Police said the couple’s previous residence was raided in 2009, turning up a small amount of ammunition, but no drugs.
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