North Adams man sentenced up to 6 years on drug, weapon charges

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PITTSFIELD — A North Adams man was sentenced to up to six years in prison Monday after admitting to weapon and drug distribution charges in Berkshire Superior Court.

Matthew Rodriguez, 25, appeared before Judge Karen Goodwin and pleaded guilty to a total of nine counts stemming from the execution of a search warrant on Oct. 12, 2017.

According to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Kyle Christensen, that search recovered three weapons, one of which is considered a high-capacity firearm, two large-capacity ammunition magazines, ammunition, approximately $3,000 cash, some of which was marked money used in undercover drug purchases, and 600 bags of heroin.

The search also recovered dealer paraphernalia such as digital scales and baggies. The drug activity took place within close proximity to a day care center, leading to a charge of committing a drug violation near a school zone, Christensen said.

In all, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two counts each of illegal possession of a large capacity magazine and illegal ownership of a firearm, and one count each of illegal possession of a large capacity firearm, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, committing a drug violation near a school zone, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card.

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Goodwin accepted the joint sentencing recommendation offered by Christensen and Rodriguez's attorney, Joe Smith.

Rodriguez was sentenced to three years and a day in state prison on all counts apart from the school zone violation and the firearm possession during the commission of a felony charges.

On the remaining firearm charge, Rodriguez was sentenced to an additional two to three years in prison, which will be served after the completion of his state prison sentence on the other charges.

On the school zone violation charge, Rodriguez was given a two-year jail sentence, which will be served concurrently with his state prison sentences.

Rodriguez will serve those sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. He was given credit for 676 days of time already served in custody.

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


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