Pittsfield raid nets 4 suspects, thousands in drugs and too much cash to count
Matthew E. Minori, 34, of North Adams, and Robert R. Jessamy, 36, Candace D. Mateo, 36, and Damien Greene, 37, all of Pittsfield, were arraigned Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court on multiple charges.
Greene is being held on $50,000 bail; the rest are being held without bail pending dangerousness hearings.
Investigators, who had learned from a credible source that Minori was expected to make a large purchase of cocaine on Wednesday morning, spotted Jessamy pull into in a Lyman Street parking lot next to Minori's vehicle.
Jessamy had recently completed a jail sentence for a cocaine offense, and was described by police as a "known supplier" of cocaine in the area.
Police moved in about 10:40 a.m. and detained the pair after watching Minori leave his car and get into the passenger seat of Jessamy's car.
A search of the car found a packaged kilogram of cocaine on the front passenger seat and a backpack containing a large amount of cash.
Police said there was too much money in the backpack to count before Thursday's arraignments and that a cash counting machine would need to be used to determine the total amount. It was estimated there were at least several thousand dollars in the backpack.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Kyle Christiansen later estimated the amount of cash at around $30,000.
Police detained the men, and from that arrest and other information they had from the investigation, they were granted search warrants for the Pomeroy Avenue home of Jessamy and Mateo and the Silver Street home of Greene.
About 10:55 a.m., police executed a search warrant at Jessamy's home. After knocking several times, police let themselves in with a house key seized from Jessamy during his arrest.
Police found Mateo on the second floor holding a cellphone, which they asked her to turn over.
She refused and slammed the phone on a bedpost twice before police were able to seize it and take her into custody.
Her apparent attempt to destroy the phone led to a charge of obstruction of justice, on suspicion she was trying to destroy evidence that may show involvement in drug activity.
A search of that home found about 111 grams of heroin, 328 grams of cocaine, 40 oxycodone tablets, an amount of cash that had yet to be determined at the time the report was written, a loaded 9mm Glock handgun, that was reportedly stolen from Palm Bay, Fla., a loaded .38 caliber revolver, as well as other evidence and dealer paraphernalia.
Police also searched Greene's Silver Street apartment about 12:30 p.m. Greene failed to answer the door after police announced their presence, prompting them to force their way inside.
Officers saw Greene enter the bathroom and close the door behind him. They found him inside after hearing him slam down the list of the toilet, which they heard flush.
In Greene's apartment, police found about $1,700 in cash, a small bag of cocaine, dealer paraphernalia and other evidence, including a Taser.
In all, Jessamy pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking in cocaine over 200 grams, four counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, trafficking in heroin over 100 grams, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute (subsequent offense), improper storage of a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, receiving stolen property over $250, commission of a felony while armed and committing a firearms violation with three or more prior violent or drug crimes.
Mateo faces the same charges as Jessamy, with one less charge of conspiracy and the obstruction of justice count.
Minori entered not guilty pleas to cocaine trafficking and conspiracy charges and Greene entered a not guilty plea to a subsequent offense of possession of a Class B drug.
Judge William Rota ordered Jessamy, Mateo and Minori held pending a dangerousness hearing set for Monday. He set a June 12 pretrial hearing for Greene.
Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.
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