Northwestern District Attorney

wikipedia.org

The role overprescribing of painkillers plays in the opioid crisis was the topic of a conference this week in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  Hosted by the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, the conference was attended by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others involved in health care and law enforcement.  Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey addressed the conference and afterwards spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

wikipedia.org

In the midst of a opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts, there is an effort to close a loophole in the state’s drug trafficking laws.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the filing of legislation Monday to make it a crime to traffic fentanyl — a synthetic painkiller that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Healey said drug cartels have figured out how to manufacture fentanyl and are sending it out on the streets where many heroin addicts are unknowingly using it.

Authorities in western Massachusetts say they broke up a large-scale automobile insurance fraud ring. It is alleged that people from New York City were insuring their cars in either Northampton, Easthampton or Greenfield where they paid substantially lower premiums.   This went on for six years.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the chief prosecutor in the case, Steve Gagne, of the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.

A nationwide initiative today is encouraging people to clean the household medicine cabinet of old drugs. People can go to local police stations, schools, and community centers to dispose of  unwanted medicines.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Christy Geffin, the program coordinator in the Northwestern District Attorney’s office in Massachusetts.

WAMC

A St. Patrick’s Day observance in Northampton, Massachusetts honored the memories of two Irish immigrants wrongly convicted of a murder 200 years ago.  Participants said their story echoes in the civil rights struggles of today.

   About 50 people gathered in the cold for a wreath-laying at a stone monument on a hillside overlooking downtown Northampton.  It marks the spot where Dominic Daley and James Halligan were hanged in 1806.  Monday marked 30 years since Massachusetts officially exonerated them.

WAMC

An anti-crime task force was  launched on Friday to help almost 50 mostly small towns in western Massachusetts combat drugs, guns and gangs. 

   The members of the task force, most of whom will be working undercover, were sworn in Friday at the Northampton office of the Northwestern District Attorney.  The top priority is to disrupt the distribution of drugs, which District Attorney David Sullivan said is at the root of most crime in Hampshire and Franklin Counties.

  Law enforcement is slowly embracing social media as a crime
fighting tool. The latest example was announced Monday in Northampton
Massachusetts, as we hear from WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul
Tuthill.

        The Northwestern District Attorney, David Sullivan announced the
launch of a text-a-tip program designed to help police solve crimes in
the 47 cities and towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties.