Police: Bar 'depot' for drug deals

Tuesday May 1, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The owner of a city bar and another man are facing illegal gambling charges and four others are facing drug charges after a weekend raid by the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.

The six men were arraigned on Monday in Central Berkshire District Court.

Herman Alexander’s, 24 Lyman St., was "being utilized as a depot for the open air market of drug transactions" with suppliers distributing drugs to lower level dealers and the dealers then selling to customers inside the bar and in the parking lot, according to a police report.

Mitchell Grossjung, 24, the owner of the bar, and another man, Anthony Thompson, 32, both of Pittsfield, were paying out winnings on two video poker machines at the bar, the report said.

No drugs were found during the raid, which was prompted by wiretaps, but police said they found "dealer blowouts" -- the corners of plastic bags that are used to hold small amounts of cocaine on the floor and hidden inside a bathroom ceiling.

A person close to the case said the bar was a total wreck after the police raid late Friday night, with doors knocked down, items strewn on the floor and holes in the walls. It was unclear whether the bar would remain open.

Bryan Jefferson, 32, Jamel Nicholson, 23, Jermaine Eur quhart, 40, Eugene Jones, 35, all of Pittsfield, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate drug laws. Jones remained in custody on $500 cash bail on Monday; the other three already had made bail.

Grossjung and Thomson each pleaded not guilty to a single charge of registering bets. They are both out on bail and will be back in court June 28.

Grossjung’s attorney, Rob ert D. Sullivan Jr., told the Eagle on Monday that his client is a hardworking, small-business owner with no criminal record and no connections to drugs.

"We are looking forward to being able to clear his name," Sullivan said.

Assisting the task force in the investigation were the Pitts field Police Department and the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, as well state Alcoholic Beverages Control Com mission, Department of Pro bation and Department of Parole.


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