PITTSFIELD -- A New York man is facing drug possession and other charges after he allegedly impersonated a police officer in Pittsfield.

Alexander D. Welsh, 19, of Cold Spring, N.Y., approached a 16-year-old male in his car on Ventura Avenue on Thursday and told him he was an undercover police officer before driving off, according to Pittsfield Police.

The family of the 16-year-old called police, who stopped Welsh on Fourth Street and allegedly found a bag containing a gram of crystal meth and another with 0.8 grams of cocaine inside an open safe in the trunk, as well as a small amount of marijuana and bottles of malt beverage.

Welsh allegedly told police he had been lost and stopped to ask the younger teen for directions, but when the 16-year-old seemed scared of him, Welsh said he told him he was an undercover police officer and "didn't have to be afraid" of him. The defendant said he didn't do anything wrong.

According to a probable cause report, Welsh later changed his story and told police he had told the boy his father was a police officer. When questioned on this, Welsh said his father was an NYPD officer, then said it was his stepfather who was in the police, before admitting his stepfather was actually a firefighter.

As for the drugs, the defendant told investigators he and a friend both bought the same type of safe and that his friend "must have taken the wrong safe and left the one with the drugs in it," according to the report.

Welsh, appearing with attorney Thomas C. Doyle, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday to single charges of misdemeanor impersonating a police officer and possession of alcohol by a minor and two counts of possession of a class B substance.

He was released on personal recognizance by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg and is due back in court June 5 for a pretrial hearing.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:

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