Pittsfield man arrested in connection with huge heroin bust

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KINDERHOOK, N.Y. — A Pittsfield man sought in connection with a recent drug raid that led to seven other arrests and the seizure of thousands of heroin bags was arrested Tuesday in New York.

Dennis Ducharme, 28, was taken into custody in a joint effort between New York and Massachusetts state police, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, and the Schodack Police Department.

According to a statement from New York State Police, Ducharme was located during a search that involved officers, police dogs and a state police helicopter. He allegedly tried to elude police by running from a convenience store into a field. He was found a short time later and taken into custody without incident on a charge of being a fugitive from justice.

He faces charges in Berkshire County of trafficking in heroin between 100 and 200 grams and conspiracy to violate drug laws, trafficking in cocaine between 18 and 36 grams, two counts of possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card, two counts of possession of a large capacity feeding device and one count of committing a firearms violation with one or more previous violent offenses.

Police said Ducharme was still in custody Tuesday afternoon and awaiting arraignment. It's unclear when he will be returned to Berkshire County to be arraigned on his local charges.

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Further details were not immediately available.

Ducharme was wanted in connection with drug raid April 5 in which seven other people were arrested: Dylan Ducharme, 23, Ryan Henault, 21, Paul Lewis, 24, Zackary Kirkland, 20, and James Daley, 26, all of Pittsfield, and Shameen Howard, 27, and Aquireya Howe, 22, both of Springfield.

Each has entered not guilty pleas to their respective charges, including trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws. The group is accused of running a complex drug trafficking operation between Springfield and Berkshire County.

Investigators say the scheme trafficked more than 23,000 bags of heroin into Berkshire County over a two-week period. During the raids police seized thousands of bags of heroin, cocaine, a pair of handguns, ammunition, a ballistic vest, thousands in cash and other evidence.

If convicted of the heroin trafficking charges, each defendant faces up to 20 years in state prison.

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


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