Heroin and guns seized Pittsfield

An assortment of the weapons and heroin seized by police Tuesday night in Pittsfield.

PITTSFIELD — Four men said to be part of an illegal drug ring based in Springfield face charges of trafficking after a bust late Tuesday in Pittsfield netted 13,500 bags of heroin.

All four were ordered held, after arraignments Wednesday in Central Berkshire District Court, for a dangerousness hearing Friday.

Tuesday’s arrests followed months of investigation by the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, state and city police and the county Sheriff’s Office.

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement Wednesday that the arrests are part of a strategy to find and prosecute people “who saturate our community with dangerous drugs and guns.”

Along with the heroin, police seized three firearms and about $8,000 in cash, Harrington’s office said.

The following men were arrested: Raekwan Jackson, 24, of Springfield; Ka’refi Hillery, 25, of Woonsocket, R.I.; Shawn Sanders, 27, of Dorchester; and Bertram Oram, 23, of Springfield.

Hillery, Sanders, and Oram were arraigned on charges of trafficking in heroin with 200 grams or more. Jackson faces that charge, as well as three counts of possession of a firearm without a license to carry, three counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and three counts of improper storage of a firearm.

Further, Jackson was arraigned on four counts of possession of a large-capacity feeding device, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card and of being an armed career felon, according to the DA’s office.

The arrests came after members of the task force, and other police agencies, saw the suspects arrive at a hotel on West Housatonic Street at about 8 p.m., after months of investigation.

With help from state police in Hampden County, the effort also executed search warrants at two homes in Springfield.

At the request of Harrington’s office, Judge Jennifer Tyne agreed to hold the defendants without the right to bail and scheduled a dangerousness hearing for Friday.

The following agencies assisted with the investigation, according to the DA’s office: North Adams and Springfield police, the Hampden County Narcotics Task Force, the FBI’s Western Mass Gang Task Force and the Attorney General’s Office.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.