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Prosecutors want to continue to hold a Pittsfield man facing trafficking charges. His co-defendant was recently shot dead in NYC

berkshire superior court

Prosecutors have moved to keep Pittsfield resident Frank Rinaldi in custody while awaiting his trial on drug charges. His co-defendant, Demetries Anderson, was shot and killed in Queens earlier this month. 

PITTSFIELD — A judge is weighing whether to release a city man who was arrested in a January drug bust at his Summer Street apartment.

During a dangerousness hearing in Berkshire Superior Court this week, prosecutors argued that Frank Rinaldi should continue to be held without the right to bail before trial, citing the potential penalty he faces if convicted and his criminal record.

Rinaldi, 52, and another man, Demetries Anderson, were arrested in a search of Rinaldi’s apartment Jan. 6 as a part of an investigation into suspected drug dealing activity.

When police entered the home at 172 Summer St., they saw Anderson sitting in front of a “pile” of narcotics, Assistant District Attorney Melissa Brooks told Judge John Agostini during Monday’s hearing via Zoom.

Both men were charged with trafficking 36 to 100 grams of cocaine and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. A third man was arrested during a traffic stop in connection with the investigation, but Brooks said charges were ultimately dropped against him “primarily because there wasn’t sufficient evidence.”

Anderson, 32, of New York City, was shot dead in a car outside his residence in Jamaica, Queens on July 6 while out on bail in the Pittsfield case. A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department said Tuesday that there have been no arrests made in connection with the killing, and that the investigation is ongoing.

Brooks said that prosecutors sometimes see people from out of town selling narcotics from the residences of those who use substances.

“Typically, we see that people will come from out of Berkshire County and deal drugs out of people’s homes who have drug problems,” Brooks said. “I don’t know if that’s what’s going on here, but that’s my sense.”

Defense lawyer Dean Manuel asked Agostini to deny the detention request, saying Rinaldi will follow the court’s rules and that he poses no danger to the community.

He said Rinaldi no longer lives at 172 Summer St., and that he would be released back to his mother’s residence. Now disabled, Rinaldi previously worked construction.

Manuel noted Rinaldi had no narcotics on him at the time of his arrest. Agostini took the request under advisement.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com.

or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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