Gang ties suspected in drug dealing case

Ryan Hutton (New England Newspapers) | August 26, 2010

NORTH ADAMS — Two suspected members of the Bloods street gang are facing drug and blankault charges following their arrest this week by members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.

Jermaine S. Russell, 30, of Chase Avenue and Matthew R. King, 28, of State Street were arraigned on multiple charges in Northern Berkshire District Court on Wednesday. They were arrested early Tuesday morning after police seized $275 in cash, a handgun and 15 grams of crack cocaine.

According to court documents, the men are both suspected members of a subset of the Bloods street gang known as the Nine Trey Gangsters — widely considered by law enforcement to be the largest and most dangerous of the Blood groups in the country.

The task force executed two no-knock search warrants at 55 Chase Ave. and 179 State St. at 7:13 a.m. Tuesday with the blankistance of the Berkshire County Special Emergency Response Team. At the Chase Avenue address, police arrested Russell and Sarah Morrell, who also pleaded not guilty to identical charges as Russell.

Task force members found the gun — a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver — hidden in the basement of Russell’s Chase Avenue address, according to the documents. Also confiscated during the Chase Avenue raid were a small bag of marijuana and $275 in cash — some of which had been used by undercover task force officers in controlled drug buys.

Morrell had a bag containing 53 individually wrapped bags of crack cocaine weighing a combined 15 grams. The crack was estimated to have a street value of $2,650.

The task force had been conducting controlled undercover drug buys for some time to build evidence against the pair.

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