Up to 4 years in prison for Pittsfield man caught with heroin tied to ODs


PITTSFIELD — A city man who admitted to being both a drug addict and dealer has been sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Kenneth J. Rathbun, 53, was found with drugs in three separate traffic stops between September 2016 and May 2016. He was a passenger in all three incidents.

In the two earlier stops, on Sept. 17 and Nov. 17, 2015, Rathbun was in possession of heroin labeled "American Gangster."

That brand of heroin was linked to a series of overdoses last fall, including one fatality.

Rathbun was in possession of 30 bags of heroin and a crack pipe in the first stop and 50 bags of heroin, a pair of cellphones and a crack pipe in the second stop.

A search of the messages on one of those phones indicated Rathbun was being contacted by people looking to purchase drugs from him, according to First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello.

During a May 26 traffic stop, Rathbun was found in possession of 85 bags of heroin as well as what was described as an "apparatus," for smoking drugs, which had cocaine residue on it.

Rathbun pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Thursday to three counts of possession of cocaine (second offense), two counts of possession of heroin (second offense) and one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

Judge John Agostini sentenced him to three to four years in state prison based on an agreement between Caccaviello and Rathbun's attorney, Raymond J. Jacoub.

Specifically, Rathbun was sentenced to prison on the distribution charge and to a pair of two-year sentences at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction on the simple possession charges. Those sentences will run concurrently with the prison term and with each other.

Rathbun was given credit for 83 days of time already served in custody.

The investigations were conducted by members of the Pittsfield and Dalton police departments, the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, state troopers assigned to the Cheshire barracks and District Attorney's Office and members of the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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