Pittsfield city councilor accused of tipping off drug dealers - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Pittsfield city councilor accused of tipping off drug dealers


PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A City Councilor in Pittsfield has been arrested for allegedly tipping off drug dealers to police drug busts.

Paul Capitanio, 57, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to conspiracy to violate drug laws and accessory after the fact, after he was arrested by Massachusetts State Police on Friday.

Police say Capitanio would alert drug dealers in the city to busts being done by the Pittsfield Police Department before the suspects were arrested.

Capitanio has represented Ward 3 in Pittsfield since 2009 and serves on the City Council Public Health and Safety committee.

Capitanio announced he will not seek re-election this fall. He is also the owner of the Eastside Cafe.

The criminal complaint filed in court describes how last April investigators intercepted several phone calls between two local dealers and that many of the calls made mention of a city councilman whom police say has known the unnamed dealer for over 10 years. 

An investigation revealed that a dealer's telephone number called, or received calls from Paul Capitanio on 380 occasions from March 4th to April 30th.

Investigators say the information shared on pending drug raids were spot on and the busts were cancelled. They say Capitanio did not sell any drugs, but was buying them to feed an alleged oxycodone habit.

The Berkshire County District Attorney gave NEWS10 "no comment" as it is a pending case. Capitanio was released on $500 bail.

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