Three Pittsfield men plead not guilty to drug charges after bust
PITTSFIELD - Three Pittsfield men have been arraigned on various drug charges after police executed search warrants on two city residences, a car and a Lenox motel room.
Matthew White and Joshua Feliciano, both 22, and Patrick Gigliotti, 22, were arrested Tuesday morning at addresses on North and First streets.
According to police and prosecutors, Gigliotti was stopped in his 2009 Toyota Camry after police spotted him on North Street and pulled him over. Police said they found "several" packages of a "tan powder-like substance," suspected to be heroin, in the glove box. Inside Gigliotti’s North Street apartment, police recovered marijuana, the drug known as ecstasy, and loose .22 cartridges.
Gigliotti was charged for the marijuana, bullets, and heroin.
White, who police allege also lived there, was charged with possession of the ecstasy.
About 15 minutes after executing the warrant on North Street, police searched a First Street address -- alleged to be Feliciano’s residence -- and turned up drug-dealing paraphernalia. Another person at the residence told police that Feliciano had moved out two days earlier and was staying at the Lenox Inn, located on Pittsfield Road in Lenox.
Police went to the motel and were given a key to the room in question. When they were unable to open the door, an officer "breached" it. Police went inside, arrested Feliciano and secured the room while they waited for a search warrant.
Investigators allegedly found 80 packs of heroin on Feliciano at the time of his arrest.
On Wednesday in Central Berkshire District Court, the three men appeared with their lawyers and denied the charges.
Feliciano pleaded not guilty to possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and was held on $500 cash or $5,000 surety bail. White pleaded not guilty to possession of ecstasy and was released on $200 bail he had previously posted. Gigliotti was released on personal recognizance after denying charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, and driving with a suspended license.
The men’s attorneys said the police didn’t follow proper procedure in making the arrests and during the searches.
Attorney Alexander Sohn, representing Feliciano, said the police had no cause to enter his client’s motel room without a warrant. Police entered the room, arrested Feliciano -- and allegedly discovered the drugs on him -- before obtaining a warrant. They later received the warrant and searched the room, allegedly turning up empty heroin bags and $180 in cash, among other items.
Gigliotti’s lawyer, Thomas M. Sherman Jr., said there was no probable cause for the car stop that led to Gigliotti’s arrest or for any of the charges he’s facing.
White’s attorney, Joseph P. Colonna, said there were numerous problems with the case and that his client wasn’t listed in the search warrant and that nothing was found on him.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Royce had asked for much higher bail for the defendants, citing the nature of the charges and, in the case of White and Feliciano, their prior records.
Both White and Gigliotti were on probation at the time of their arrests. The Probation Department filed violations for both men, but Judge Robert S. Murphy Jr. didn’t hold either of the men. They are both due back on June 12 for final probation violation hearings.
Gigliotti was on probation for drunken driving and White for two 2012 cases that included aggravated assault and battery among the charges, according to court records.
All three defendants are scheduled to be back in court July 16 for pretrial hearings on the new charges.
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