PITTSFIELD -- A city man who had a trafficking case dismissed last month is free after having his bail reduced from $50,000 to $5,000 cash on another drug case.
Ronald King, 54, was arrested last March after members of the Pittsfield Police drug unit, the Berkshire Drug Task Force and the county Special Response Team executed a "no-knock" search warrant on a city residence and allegedly turning up about $450 worth of heroin, some of which had been thrown into a toilet, according to police and prosecutors. Lynn Stracuzzi, 39, also was arrested in the raid.
Both defendants 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, they were additionally charged with a drug offense within 300 feet of a school zone. Both defendants were later indicted on the charges. Stracuzzi’s case remains pending.
On Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court, King had his bail reduced from $50,000 cash or $500,000 bond to $5,000 under an agreement between the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office and King’s attorney, Glenn W. Keiderling Jr.
As part of the agreement, Judge John A. Agostini ordered King to wear a GPS monitor and remain at his residence during an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. His case is on the November trial list.
At the time of his arrest, King had already been facing charges of felony heroin trafficking, but those charges were dismissed at the request of the DA’s Office after Agostini threw out the police search that allegedly turned up the drugs.
In that case, a Lenox Police officer investigating a series of larcenies from Price Chopper was at the Howard Johnson Express Inn on Pittsfield Road and saw King exiting a room. It was alleged King was caught on tape by a surveillance camera with the shoplifting suspect and the officer said he wanted to ask King about the female’s identity. Another officer arrived to assist.
When King opened the hotel room door, the two officers brushed past him into the room, according to court papers. They asked him some questions and then left.
One of the officers returned to the room a few minutes later and allegedly saw King removing from a duffel bag a large white package, which prosecutors said contained 900 individually wrapped bags of heroin worth $8,500.
King was charged with heroin trafficking and second offense driving with a suspended license. The same officer also allegedly saw King driving a car with a suspended license that day.
Agostini, ruling on a motion to suppress the search filed by Keiderling, dismissed the charges last month after he determined the police officers had illegally entered King’s hotel room.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano argued that the search of the room was voluntary, something King adamantly denied.
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