Massachusetts State Police seize 2,000 bags of heroin in Cheshire stop

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This story has been modified to add the amount of bail for the three defendants.

CHESHIRE — A defective brake light led to the Massachusetts State Police seizure of more than 2,000 bags of heroin during a traffic stop on Thursday.

Troopers on patrol on South Street in Pittsfield spotted a vehicle with a broken brake light at about 6 p.m., prompting police to follow. The vehicle, a blue Honda sedan, veered left and accelerated away for several hundred yards. It was stopped in Cheshire, according to a press release issued Friday by state police.

During a search of the vehicle and its three occupants — including a juvenile female — troopers allegedly discovered a total of 2,020 bags containing a substance that they believed to be heroin, along with $1,640 in cash. The estimated street value of the heroin was estimated to be in excess of $20,000, according to police.

The driver of the vehicle, Joseph Walker, 42, of Pittsfield, was allegedly found in possession of 10 packets of heroin and 500 more inside the car, according to the release. Passenger Derrick Laforest, 33, of Pittsfield, was in possession of the $1,640 in cash, the release states.

Laforest faces charges of possession with intent to distribute a class A substance, trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to violate drug law, and intimidating a witness; Walker faces charges of possession with intent to distribute a class A substance, subsequent offense, trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to violate drug law, and a brake light violation. The juvenile is charged with single counts of trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to violate drug law.

Bail was set at $100,000 for Laforest and $50,000 for Walker; they were both sent to the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction. Bail for the juvenile female was set at $5,000. She was transported to the alternative lockup program in Springfield.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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