PITTSFIELD — Two city men began the new year being roused by police officers who found them asleep in a parked, running car — and allegedly in possession of an illegal handgun, cocaine, painkillers, ecstasy tablets and more than $5,000 in cash.
One of the men allegedly tried to flush a large amount of the drugs down a toilet in one of the Pittsfield Police Department's holding cells.
Timothy Carnute, 34, of Greendale Avenue, and Gregory J. Friend, 32, of April Lane, were found by police about 9:30 a.m. Sunday in the car on Dan Casey Memorial Drive
Friend, who was in the driver's seat, told police he'd parked on the side of the road after being too tired from the night before. Police spotted a half-full bottle of Hennessy cognac in the car and asked Friend to exit the vehicle to check his sobriety.
Carnute, who was in the passenger seat, also began to exit the vehicle and as an officer stepped in to escort him out, they spotted the muzzle of a 6mm handgun between the passenger seat and center console. Both men were taken into custody at that point.
Carnute declined to answer who the gun belonged to, instead telling police he "wanted to get this over with." Friend told police he didn't know anything about the gun.
Neither man has a license to carry a firearm, police said.
Police also found nearly $4,000 in the car's center console and another $1,143 in cash on Carnute. He told police all of the cash was his.
During booking, police searched Carnute and found a bag with two small pills inside that he said were ecstasy tablets and told police there was a bag of cocaine in his pocket that police were, "going to find anyways."
Friend was searched at the station and $165 in cash was found and seized. He asked permission to use a restroom and was escorted to a cell where he was allowed to relieve himself.
Police said the toilet was checked for foreign objects before Friend used it.
Some time later, Carnute also asked to use a restroom and was escorted to the same cell Friend had just used. Police saw a plastic bag in the toilet containing 11 smaller bags of cocaine and another bag containing 30 oxycodone tablets, according to reports filed in the case.
Police estimated the pair was in possession of $6,988 worth of cash and drugs. Each man also was carrying one smart phone and one flip phone.
Carnute pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to charges of carrying a firearm without a license, improper storage of a firearm, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (subsequent offense), possession of a Class B drug with intent to distribute (subsequent offense), possession of a Class B drug (subsequent offense), conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and committing a firearms violation with a prior violent or drug crime. Carnute has a 2008 conviction for cocaine distribution.
Friend pleaded not guilty to charges of carrying a firearm without a license, improper storage of a firearm, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (subsequent offense), possession of a Class B drug with intent to distribute (subsequent offense), possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and committing a firearms violation with a prior violent or drug crime.
Friend has a 2005 conviction, also for cocaine distribution, police said.
Judge William Rota set bail for each man at $10,000, which was posted Tuesday in each case.
Both men are due back in court on March 1 for pretrial hearings.
Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.