Pittsfield sex offender held on drug, theft charges


PITTSFIELD -- A level 3 sex offender accused of selling stolen jewelry and electronics is being held on $500 bail on Wednesday after denying 10 charges.

Justin Szklasz, 30, no current address available, was allegedly caught at a local electronics store trying to sell an iPad that had been taken in an Oct. 15 break-in on Allessio Street in Pittsfield, according to Pittsfield police.

He also was charged with selling stolen jewelry to a city jewelry store. That merchandise was allegedly taken in on Oct. 24 breaking and entering on Rose Terrace in Pittsfield. The homeowner later identified the stolen jewelry, police said.

Investigators arrested Szklasz when he returned to the jewelry store on Tuesday.

When arrested, he allegedly had a backpack containing a small amount of heroin, suboxone and buprenorphin, along with drug paraphernalia, and what police described as "burglarious" tools (a pry bar, screwdriver and flashlight), among other items.

He also was charged with failing to register as a sex offender for allegedly not telling police he had moved.

Szklasz pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to five felonies and five misdemeanor charges, including larceny over $250, possession of class A and B drugs, receiving stolen property, both over and under $250, possession of burglary tools, larceny over $250 by single scheme and failure to register as a sex offender.

Szklasz has not been charged with breaking and entering, but according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Jason Lederman, the police investigation is ongoing.

The prosecutor asked the court to hold the defendant on $5,000 bail.

Szklasz's attorney, David C. Cafarelli, told the court his client's case was defensible and that Szklasz hadn't been in any trouble since his release from jail in 2011.

Szklasz was charged in 2008 with rape and abuse of a child for an abusive relationship with a 15-year-old, according to court documents.

Cafarelli told the court his client pleaded out to those charges in 2009 and was sentenced to 21 2 years of incarceration.

The attorney said it was a statutory rape case.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Szklasz held on $500 bail. The defendant is due back in court Nov. 26.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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