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NYC man facing charges in connection with Pittsfield drug investigation found shot dead in Queens

PITTSFIELD — A man arrested earlier this year in connection with a city drug bust was killed after being shot twice while in a car parked outside his residence in a New York City borough.

Demetries Anderson, 32, of 121-02 Sutphin Blvd. in Queens, had been due in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday for his arraignment on drug charges related to a January investigation into heroin and cocaine dealing on Summer Street in Pittsfield.

He was killed at about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, in Jamaica, Queens, defense lawyer Katherine Grubbs told Superior Court Judge John Agostini.

“He was murdered Wednesday night,” Grubbs said. “I have spoken with his mother and his girlfriend; we do not have a death certificate yet.”

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Brooks said the prosecutors’ office will dismiss its case against Anderson, in line with the normal course of action when a person dies while a criminal case against them is pending, once she receives a death certificate or other official confirmation for the court.

The New York City Police Department told The Eagle that Anderson was found in the back seat of a vehicle that was parked in front of his address after police responded to a report of gunshots. Anderson had been shot twice, with wounds to the neck and chest.

He was taken by EMS to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, an NYPD spokesman said.

A second man, who was 28, showed up at that hospital with gunshot wounds and said he was shot in the same place as Anderson was. That man was treated and was in stable condition.

New York City authorities continue to probe Anderson’s death.

“There are no arrests ... and the investigation remains ongoing at this time,” the spokesman said.

Anderson was one of three men arrested by Pittsfield police earlier this year in an investigation into neighborhood complaints about drug dealing from an apartment at 172 Summer St.

Police said in a report that Anderson was at the apartment when officers with PPD’s Anti-Crime Unit, Drug Unit and Detective Bureau executed a search warrant there on Jan. 6.

According to court documents, police seized 68 grams of cocaine and 200 baggies of heroin from the apartment, where they also located “work station” for packaging the substance and materials to cook it.

A Berkshire County grand jury handed up indictments June 23 charging the Anderson and 52-year-old Frank Rinaldi, of 172 Summer St., with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and trafficking between 36 and 100 grams of cocaine. Rinaldi is set to be arraigned on July 21.

The two men had faced charges in connection with the bust in Central Berkshire District Court, but the indictments moved their cases to Superior Court, where more serious offenses are prosecuted. Anderson was released from pretrial custody late January after appealing his bail.

Police arrested a third man who had left the apartment just prior to the bust. But the grand jury declined to indict, noting there was lack of probable cause to prosecute Lameek “Showtime” Thomas, 33, on drug charges in the January bust.

“In consultation with the investigating officers, prosecutors determined that the investigation did not yield sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Thomas,” a spokesman for Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

Thomas was, however, arrested last month following a separate drug investigation.

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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