Drug raid suspect denies charges
PITTSFIELD -- A 25-year-old is being held without bail after denying gun and drug charges following a police raid at his city residence.
Just before 11 a.m. Thursday, members of the Pittsfield Police Department and the Berkshire County Drug Task Force and county Special Response Team executed a "no-knock" search warrant at the second floor apartment at 55 Worthington Place and allegedly turned up 371 bags of heroin with a street value of more than $3,700, a loaded 9mm handgun and $545 in cash. They also arrested Anthony "Ant" Shepard who lived at the residence along with his roommate and three others.
Police said they located a loaded 9mm handgun within arms reach of Shepard between a wall and a mattress. Sixty-one bags of heroin and a roll of cash were found on Shepard.
He admitted he was holding the gun for someone, was trying to be "a big man" and that it was "stupid," according to a police report.
Shepard also allegedly led police to a safe containing more than 300 bags of heroin and a 9mm magazine loaded with live rounds.
He was charged with possession of a Class A substance with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, unlicensed possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card.
David Monterosso, 42, and 27-year-old Holly Moran, both of Middle Road in Clarksburg, who Shepard said were new customers, were found in the bathroom as were 10 bags of heroin floating in the toilet and nearby they found Clonazepam, an anti-anxiety drug. They were both charged with possession of Class A and C drugs.
Shepard's roommate, Kyle Regnier, 31, was arrested and charged with being present where heroin is kept. Also arrested was Lindsey Johns, 20, of Westchester Avenue, Pittsfield, who was found with Shepard in his bedroom. She, too, was charged with being present where heroin is kept.
Pittsfield Police Sgt. Marc Strout said neighborhood complaints and tips resulted in the raid that came after a several week-long investigation.
The apartment's occupants were obtaining drugs in Holyoke, he said.
On Friday in Central Berkshire District Court, She-
pard denied the charges.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Royce said that Shepard was a heroin user who dealt drugs to support his habit. He said heroin use had reached epidemic proportions in the area and Shepard was both using the drugs and putting them on the streets. Royce said Shepard was facing serious time, since the charge of firearm in commission of a felony alone carries a mandatory minimum of five years in state prison upon conviction.
He called the defendant a danger to the community and asked the court to revoke Shepard's bail on an earlier Superior Court case in which he was allegedly trading drugs for stolen items in 2013.
That case remains pending.
Royce also asked that $20,000 bail on the new charges.
Attorney James F. Petersen, who represented Shepard for the bail hearing, said that while his client had the open cases, he had no adult record, and was a heroin user who wanted to get help for his addiction. The defendant was cooperative with police, he said. In regard to the earlier Superior Court case, the attorney said his client was only "tangentially" connected with a series of break-ins by his roommates who left the stolen property in the house. He asked that bail not be revoked and asked for no more than $1,000 in bail be set.
Judge Matthew J. Shea ordered Shepard's earlier bail be revoked for 60 days and set bail on the new case at $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. Shepard is due back in court May 9, but the case will likely be headed for the grand jury for indictment.
The other defendants pleaded not guilty to their charges and were released on personal recognizance. They are due back in court for pretrial hearings on May 20.
A dog that was taken from the residence during the raid is being cared for by Shepard's mother, according to a police report.
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