Drug convictions net Pittsfield man up to 10 years in prison

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PITTSFIELD >> A city man with a lengthy history of drug-related crimes was convicted of new charges on Wednesday — his 41st birthday — and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Jeffrey J. Renzi was found guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute (second offense) and committing a drug violation in a drug-free park zone. He was found not guilty on one count of resisting arrest.

Jurors returned with their verdict following about two hours of deliberations.

Renzi's attorney, Joshua Hochberg, said his client has been struggling with addiction most of his life, which contributed to his lengthy criminal record. He was arrested Dec. 31, 2014 on the most recent charges.

Hochberg said the hope is that Renzi's time in prison may be the catalyst that, "forces him to stop using."

"It's clear he was dealing and using," Hochberg said, adding Renzi is, himself, "a product of the heroin epidemic."

Hochberg asked judge John Agostini to consider a six- to seven-year sentence for Renzi over the six- to 10-year sentence being sought by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Gregory Barry.

Agostini adopted the state's recommendation based in part on Renzi's criminal record, which he called, "incredible."

That record includes numerous drug convictions and stints in both county jail and state prison dating back to at least 1995, Barry said.

Renzi was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 years on the distribution charge and another 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 years on the park zone violation. Those sentences will be served consecutively.

Renzi will serve his sentence at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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