PITTSFIELD -- A New York man with a history of violent crime remains held on $500,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty on Thursday to charges that he had hundreds of bags of heroin, cash and a loaded pistol last month.
Ernest A. Harvin, 37, of Bruckner Road in the Bronx, allegedly fled from the state police Sept. 5 during a Berkshire County Drug Task Force sting operation in Williamstown. Harvin crashed the Mercedes he was driving into a tree on Oblong Road and then continued running on foot. He was later arrested after a K9 unit located him about a mile from the crash site, police said.
Police were acting on information that Harvin allegedly was dealing heroin and that his most common meeting place to sell was on Oblong Road.
Investigators say they recovered 280 bags of heroin, $1,435 in cash, and a loaded 9mm handgun that had been stolen in 2010.
Harvin pleaded not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to 11 charges, including possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and five other firearms charges, receiving stolen property valued over $250 and four vehicle and traffic offenses.
Judge John A. Agostini ordered Harvin held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $500,000 cash or $5,000,000 surety bail.
In 1994, Harvin was convicted of attempted murder in New York state and served more than six years in state prison, according to the New York State Department of Corrections website.
Police said Harvin's record also includes assault and firearms and drug distribution offenses.
Harvin is currently represented by court appointed attorney Jill Sheldon, but he may hire his own lawyer. According to the Superior Court Clerk's Office, there may be a bail hearing in the case soon, but no date has been set as of Thursday.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Mary-Elizabeth Mack.
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