Attorney says state can't prove drugs, weapons were tied to Pittsfield suspect

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PITTSFIELD — Prosecutors say Derrick King worked in concert with his brother to store, package and distribute drugs and did so while arming themselves with a small cache of weapons.

King's attorney, however, told jurors Tuesday that the state's case is "swimming in a sea of reasonable doubt," and it would not be able to prove drugs and weapons found during a January 2017 search were connected to his client.

King, 42, of Pittsfield, has pleaded not guilty to multiple drug and weapons charges in the case. Opening statements at his trial were delivered Tuesday morning in Berkshire Superior Court.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano told jurors that police found nearly $10,000 worth of drugs while executing a search warrant at the Students Lane apartment the brothers shared.

Three firearms were found in the building's shared basement along with 90 bags of heroin and another bag of loose heroin, weighing about 11 grams, according to court files.

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When police searched King, they found seven bags of heroin stamped "24 se7en" and two small bags of cocaine, one in each front pocket, and $117 cash.

Attorney Colin Keefe argued his client was a drug user and not involved in distribution of narcotics.

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Yorlano noted police recovered evidence of a drug distribution operation, including baggies, a digital scale and other alleged dealer paraphernalia.

Keefe also said the state would not be able to link his client to any of the firearms found in the basement, noting there was shared access to that space among all three apartments.

And he said prosecutors wouldn't be able to link King to the larger amount of drugs and ammunition found in the apartment.

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In all, King has pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of a Class A drug with intent to distribute; possession of a large-capacity firearm in the commission of a felony; three counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony; improper storage of a large-capacity firearm; three counts of improper storage of a firearm; possession of a large capacity firearm; three counts of possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card; possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card; committing a firearms violation with a previous violent or drug crime; and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

King's brother, Kareem, pleaded guilty in September to similar charges in connection with the search. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail.

Testimony in the trial is expected to continue Wednesday before Judge John Agostini.

Bob Dunn can be reached at, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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