PITTSFIELD -- Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force executed a warrant on Wednesday morning on Springside Avenue in Pittsfield, arresting two Pittsfield men on drug and gun charges.
Andre Austin, 27, and Brandon Green, 21, were taken into custody after police allegedly found numerous bags of cocaine and an unlicensed gun at the home they were in. Police had targeted the house, which was suspected for being a base of drug operations. Police had been looking for a third man, who was not immediately arrested, and was believed to be living there, according to the criminal complaint.
Austin, of Linden Street, was hit with a resisting arrest charge for allegedly "flailing his arms" and resisting the attempt by officers to handcuff him at the residence, according to the criminal complaint. Pittsfield police Sgt. Marc Strout and Officer David Kirchner knocked down Austin and struck him with their hands and knees to handcuff him, police stated in the complaint.
Green, of Myrtle Avenue, was arrested without incident.
A search of the premises allegedly uncovered 23 bags of cocaine with an estimated value of $1,400, and $700 to $800 worth of marijuana. Some of the drugs were found inside the residence and more was found on the suspects. Police also found several cell phones and a digital scale which they confiscated as evidence.
A loaded Smith and Wesson revolver with five live rounds was allegedly found in underneath a pair of sneakers in a gym bag. Kirchner had offered the sneakers to Austin to wear because Austin was without any shoes at the time, according to the complaint. Austin later claimed the sneakers and the gun were not his, police stated.
In addition to drug possession charges, Austin and Green were charged with unlicensed gun possession, unlicensed ammunition possession, improper storage of a firearm and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Austin has a previous conviction for drug possession with intent to distribute, which he was placed on probation for in 2010.
Austin was remanded to the Berkshire County Jail and House of Corrections in lieu of $20,000 bail by Judge Michael Ripps.
Austin's attorney Marc Vincelette unsuccessfully argued for a lower bail, saying his client "has a problem with cocaine" and takes responsibility for some of the charges. "This isn't his house," Vincelette said of the home where the arrest took place.
Green was remanded to jail pending a bail hearing set for Friday morning. Green was already out on $7,500 bail on an assault and battery charge related to his part in a brawl at a North Adams bar last year in which he and another man were stabbed. Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Jeff Clarke indicated he may seek to have that bail revoked on Friday.
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