PITTSFIELD -- A police raid at a Hamlin Street residence didn’t turn up any drugs, but it did result in the arrest of a 20-year-old man on gun charges.
Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force arrested Shaquille K. Daniels, 20, after they executed a "no-knock" search warrant on 14 Hamlin St. as part of an ongoing drug investigation, according to police and prosecutors. Police believe Daniels was using the residence, where he and his extended family live, as a "base of operation for his illegal crack cocaine distribution operation."
While no drugs were found, Daniels was charged with three gun related offenses after investigators allegedly found a loaded Titan .25 caliber pistol next to Daniels’ bed.
Police say they also turned up $700 in cash, and "dealer blowouts," the remains of plastic bags used by dealers to package small amounts of cocaine.
Daniels was arrested at the home as was 38-year-old Jennifer Estes, who is listed as homeless in court records. Police said she was wanted on two warrants.
Daniels pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to single counts of possession of a handgun and ammunition without a license and improper storage of a handgun.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office requested Daniels be held on $10,000 bail, citing his previous record and the fact that there were nine children, ranging in age from 1 to 16, in the home where an unsecured gun was found.
Daniels’ lawyer, Marc C. Vincelette Sr., said the bail request by the prosecution was "excessive" and asked for $1,000 bail.
"He’s facing three misdemeanors," the attorney said.
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Daniels held on $2,000 cash or $20,000 surety bail. He is due back in court Feb. 6.
Police say further charges may be pending.
According to court records, Daniels was arrested in August 2012 on charges of breaking and entering, three counts of larceny of a firearm, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm without a license. The charges were related to a January break-in and theft of two shotguns and a rifle from Avid Sports, on West Housatonic Street. The weapons were found buried in the snow off Route 41, where a stolen getaway vehicle was discovered crashed into a tree, according to police.
Daniels later pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 382 days in jail, the amount of time he had spent awaiting the outcome of his case.
On Tuesday Vincelette told the court his client, since his release from jail, has received his GED and is enrolled in business school.
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