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Traffic stop in Pittsfield leads to weapons charges

PITTSFIELD — Two people were arrested early Saturday, after police discovered a handgun with a high-capacity magazine in the vehicle they were in.

Shamaun Drayton, 35, of Springfield, was in a BMW with “extremely dark window tint” on Briggs Avenue about 10 a.m. when a state police officer checked the vehicle’s California plates and discovered they were registered to a different vehicle, according to a police report.

After the trooper pulled over the vehicle near Crane Avenue and Worthen Street, he learned that Drayton was driving with a suspended license, and had an open criminal case in Hampden Superior Court for alleged illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

During a search of the vehicle, the trooper found a semiautomatic handgun, equipped with a high-capacity magazine, encased in a cloth holster in the glove box, the report said. The trooper also found a “fully loaded” magazine inside a red bag carried by Tabitha Stanton, who was riding in the passenger seat. Stanton denied that the bag belonged to her.

Drayton pleaded not guilty via Zoom arraignment, to second offense carrying a dangerous weapon; two counts of possessing a large-capacity firearm without a license; carrying a loaded firearm without a license; subsequent offense possessing a firearm without an identification card; and a vehicle plate violation to conceal identification.

Assistant District Attorney R. Talmadge Reeves requested that Drayton be held without the right to bail before trial. Judge Jennifer Tyne agreed to the prosecutor’s request and revoked Drayton’s bail on his open cases. He is due back in court for a status hearing Jan. 4.

Stanton, 22, of Wahconah Street in Pittsfield, pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court to charges of illegally possessing a large-capacity firearm and possessing a firearm without an identification card. She was released on personal recognizance, with orders not to possess weapons, and is due back in court Feb. 22.

While the cases are in the Pittsfield jurisdiction, in-person arraignments are being held in North Adams because of a COVID-19 outbreak among staff in Central Berkshire District Court.

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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