PITTSFIELD -- A city man out on bail for heroin trafficking charges is being held without bail following a drug bust at a Cherry Street residence.
Ronald King, 54, of Pond Street, and Lynn Stracuzzi, 39, were using the residence as a base of operations for heroin distribution, police and prosecutors said.
Members of the Pittsfield Police drug unit, the Berkshire Drug Task Force and the county Special Response Team executed a "no-knock" search warrant at Stracuzzi's residence about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
According to a probable cause report, police allegedly saw King run into the bathroom. They forced their way in as King was trying to flush a package down the toilet. They fished it out and believe it was 40 packages of heroin bundled together.
Stracuzzi was found in the bedroom, where five more bags of heroin were found on the floor, police said.
In total, the drugs allegedly recovered have a $450 street value, according to the report.
Police said the drugs found in the toilet were so wet they couldn't do any preliminary tests, but the packages found in the bedroom tested positive for heroin. The alleged drugs will be allowed to dry and will be sent to the state police drug lab for analysis.
Both King and Stracuzzi were charged with possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Because the Cherry Street residence abuts the Morningside Community School, the pair was additionally charged with a drug offense within 300 feet of a school zone.
King told police the drugs were his. Stracuzzi said they were hers.
King pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday to the charges
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Michael D'Angelo asked that King's bail be revoked on a pending Superior Court case.
In that case, King allegedly was busted in a Lenox motel with a large package of heroin broken up into more than 900 individual packages with a street value of about $8,500, according to the prosecutor.
King was out on $10,000 bail on charges of heroin trafficking and second offense driving with a suspended license at the time of his latest arrest.
D'Angelo called King "dangerous," pointing to a record from both Massachusetts and New York that included assault and battery, robbery and burglary.
Additionally, King has a number of aliases, the prosecutor said.
King's attorney, Glenn W. Keiderling Jr., said the amount of drugs the police allege they found was consistent with personal use and not distribution.
The lawyer said in regard to the older case he had filed a motion to suppress evidence and said the weight of the alleged drugs was in dispute. Police say they found about 20 grams, two grams more than the limit to charge the offense of trafficking.
Keiderling asked for personal recognizance in the newest case.
Judge Robert S. Murphy Jr., ordered King's bail revoked on the earlier case and set bail at $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety bail. King can be held for up to 60 days without bail.
King was remanded to the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction in lieu of bail.
Stracuzzi, represented by attorney Joseph G. Vosit, also denied the charges.
Her attorney argued that King had been the one who tried to "dispose of the product" while his client was cooperative with police. He said she hasn't been in trouble with the law since she was 17. He asked that Stracuzzi be released on personal recognizance.
D'Angelo was asking for $1,000 bail.
The judge released her on personal recognizance. Both defendants are due back in court on April 22.
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