PITTSFIELD -- An Adams man accused of being a drug dealer is being held on $2,500 bail after he was caught allegedly transporting 180 bags of heroin, authorities said.
The woman whose car he was riding in also is facing charges.
Jeffrey Deeley, 33, had been suspected of drug dealing since February, and police said they learned from a confidential source that on Monday he would be resupplying himself with heroin from Holyoke to bring back to Adams to sell.
Members of the Holyoke Police Narcotics Unit witnessed a Volkswagen Passat, driven by Alicia Gattuso, 26, of Hinsdale, stop at a housing project there known as a center for drug distribution, according to a police report.
Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force set up surveillance along the route from Holyoke to Berkshire County and, with the help of state troopers from the Cheshire barracks, pulled the car over on Route 8 in Hinsdale. They allegedly discovered the heroin with an estimated street value of $3,600 on Deeley's person, along with drug paraphernalia.
Deeley pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to single counts of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute heroin. His attorney, Joshua C. Hochberg, told the court his client has been a heroin addict for a decade and has severe health problems as a result. He said it is not unheard of for serious addicts to have large daily habits and that 180 bags could be "well within personal use."
"It's a possession case," he said and asked for $500 bail.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Royce asked for $10,000 bail, telling the court Deeley has previous drug charges on his record and continues "to be involved in the distribution and possession of narcotics."
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Deeley held on $2,500 or $25,000 surety bail.
The prosecutor asked for $5,000 bail for Gattuso.
Gattuso's attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., said his client had no idea Deeley had drugs on him and has never even seen heroin in person.
Donohue said Deeley lied to Gattuso about his reasons for wanting a ride. She thought she was taking him to pick up a pair of sneakers from someone in Springfield. When they were pulled over, she had no idea what the stop was about.
He said Gattuso has no criminal record.
The judge set her bail at $500. She was still being held as of Tuesday afternoon.
Both defendants are due back in court July 15, but the case may be headed for the grand jury, based on the current charges.
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