Drug charges against Cheshire woman dismissed after police search deemed unconstitutional


NORTH ADAMS — Drug charges against a Cheshire woman were tossed out Monday after the roadside search that turned up heroin and prescription drugs was deemed unconstitutional.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office did not contest a motion to suppress evidence filed by an attorney for 54-year-old Allison O'Connell, who was arrested in possession of a small amount of heroin and Adderall on Sept. 27.

When Cheshire Police came upon O'Connell's disabled vehicle on Route 8, she explained that she had run out of gas and that her husband, Daniel, would be bringing her gas shortly, according to the police report filed by Cheshire Police Officer Trisha Carlo.

Carlo called for backup because all three of the vehicle's occupants were out of the vehicle, and she described O'Connell as "figgety" in the police report, adding that O'Connell repeatedly placed her hand in her front pocket and attempting to conceal something.

Because of this behavior, Carlo frisked O'Connell and found several used baggies of heroin and five Adderall pills.

The vehicle's other two occupants were searched and cleared by officers.

But in a written motion, defense attorney Richard Taskin argued that the search was not permissible because "the officer did not fear for her safety, the defendant had a plausible explanation of why the vehicle was not operational and the encounter was otherwise unremarkable."

Prosecutors did not contest the motion, and Judge William Rota allowed an oral motion to dismiss the charges of Class A drug possession and Class B drug possession made by Taskin.

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



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