2 arrested in Williamstown raid plead not guilty to drug trafficking charges

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NORTH ADAMS — Two city residents who missed their court date on drug trafficking charges last month have been released after showing up for their arraignment Monday.

Lakarra Williams, 29, and Joseph Bunt, 34, pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court to charges stemming from a March raid on their Williamstown motel room.

The two were suspected of aiding in the drug-selling operation of Edwin Morales, who police had been investigating since mid-2018, and was nabbed when federal and local authorities raided the couple's Cozy Corner Motel room early March 1.

Inside, officers found approximately 20 grams of cocaine and 100 bags of heroin in a black safe beneath the bed of Bunt and Williams.

In the weeks leading up to the raid, police had conducted raids on multiple other North Adams properties connected to Morales, turning up 6,000 bags of heroin, 100 grams of cocaine, nine firearms and thousands of dollars in cash — but failing to land the arrest of the suspected kingpin himself.

A second raid March 1, of a Hall Street home, also allegedly connected to Morales, resulted in two more arrests and the seizure of 1,315 bags of heroin, more than 79 grams of cocaine and $756 in cash.

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Morales was taken to Vermont, where he faces charges for drug trafficking.

Williams had an open warrant on traffic-related charges and immediately was arrested at the motel. Bunt was allowed to leave the scene and later was charged.

The two failed to show for their arraignment scheduled for April 26, and a warrant was issued for their arrest.

On Monday, they turned themselves in and entered not guilty pleas to single counts of trafficking cocaine between 18 and 36 grams, possession to distribute a Class A drug and conspiracy to violate drug law.

They were released on personal recognizance and scheduled to return July 15 for a pretrial hearing.

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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