Last-minute guilty plea staves off trial for city man

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PITTSFIELD — Just after a jury was seated in his trial, a city man opted to plead guilty to the drug and weapons charges he was facing.

Russell Jack Allison, 45, was sentenced to up to five years in prison after admitting to six counts, spread across two cases.

In the earlier case, Allison, who already was wanted on an arrest warrant connected to an unrelated set of allegations, was found passed out behind the wheel of a running car on Cherry Street shortly before 8 a.m. Dec. 23, 2015, according to court records.

Police found about $1,000 in cash and drugs, including 7.8 grams of cocaine, some of which appeared to be packaged for sale, the records said.

On Oct. 4, 2016, police, who again were seeking Allison on a warrant, pulled over his vehicle on Center Street.

While he was being placed under arrest, police found a loaded pistol tucked into his waistband. Allison had no firearms license, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Caitlin Shugrue.

He pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (second offense), possession of heroin (second offense), possession of cocaine (second offense), illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm and being an armed career felon.

One count of assault with a dangerous weapon was dropped by the state.

Judge John Agostini sentenced Allison to four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. He was given credit for 462 days of time served in custody.

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


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