Warrant issued for 2 who skipped arraignment for drug charges stemming from Williamstown raid
NORTH ADAMS — Warrants have been issued for two North Adams residents in connection with a March drug raid on a Williamstown motel.
Joseph Bunt, 34, and Lakarra Williams, 29, failed to appear in Northern Berkshire District Court on Friday for their arraignment on drug trafficking charges.
Court records indicate Williams and Bunt had originally been scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, but the hearing was pushed to Friday due to the ailing health of a member of Williams' family.
The pair were arrested after a raid on their Cozy Corner Motel room by the Berkshire County Drug Task Force and federal agents.
Police allege that Bunt and Williams rented the room and sold drugs on behalf of Edwin Morales, who was arrested in the sting following a monthslong investigation into cocaine and heroin distribution in the North Adams area.
"Since that time officers have executed search warrants on multiple locations where Morales' drug trafficking organization established. Each search warrant resulted in the seizure of narcotics, firearms, and [cash], however Morales has been able to evade police apprehension," North Adams Police Detective Sgt. Mark Bailey wrote in a criminal complaint.
The task force raided Bunt and Williams' room at about 5:30 a.m. March 1, and found them to be holding approximately 20 grams of cocaine and 100 bags of heroin in a black safe beneath their bed.
Morales and Williams both had outstanding arrest warrants and were arrested at the scene, while Bunt was released and charged afterward.
Simultaneous to the arrest of Williams and Bunt, police raided a Hall Street residence they believed to be connected to Morales.
Officers found 1,315 bags of heroin and 79 grams of cocaine inside a safe in the bedroom of Deshaunte King, 24. They also found an unspecified amount of cocaine and $756 in cash in the purse of Leila Moody-Williams, 23.
King and Moody-Williams were each arraigned last month. King pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court on April 22 to single counts of trafficking in cocaine between 18 and 36 grams, trafficking and heroin between 18 and 36 grams, and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Moody-Williams pleaded not guilty to a single count of possession to distribute a Class B drug.
Morales was not immediately charged in Northern Berkshire District Court following his arrest. Instead, he was transported to Vermont, where he was wanted on a federal arrest warrant out of Burlington for conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Williams also had an active warrant already out for her arrest for failing to appear in court to face traffic violation-related charges, according to the report.
Prior to his arrest, Morales had evaded multiple raids on Northern Berkshire properties connected with his alleged operation that turned up about 6,000 bags of heroin, 100 grams of cocaine, nine firearms and thousands of dollars in cash.
Police had been investigating Morales since the summer of 2018.
Adam Shanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.