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State & Region Briefs


Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Ex-postal worker pleads guilty to creating, viewing child porn

WORCESTER — A former postal worker has pleaded guilty to recording himself sexually assaulting a child and viewing child pornography at work.

Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Stephen Mantha was arrested after investigators discovered suspicious internet searches coming from a Postal Service office in Shrewsbury. Mantha worked there as an electronic technician.

Investigators searched Mantha’s Spencer home in September 2016 and discovered a video recorded in 2000 or 2001 that showed him assaulting an approximately 7-year-old boy. Federal agents located the victim, now an adult, who confirmed the abuse.

Mantha entered the guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in Worcester.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 24.

9,000 bags of heroin seized in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — A massive amount of heroin has been seized during a western Massachusetts drug trafficking investigation.

The Hampden District Attorney’s Office says 39-year-old Julio Sanchez of Springfield, and 32-year-old Andy Espinal-Antonio of Worcester were arrested on Feb. 24 after being seen selling heroin.

The two men are charged with trafficking over 200 grams of heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Espinal-Antonio was also charged with intent to distribute after detectives found 50 bags of heroin in his car and $3,500 cash. Detectives found 9,000 packets of heroin in Sanchez’s vehicle.

Sanchez’s next court date is in March 21, 2018 and Espinal-Antonio is scheduled to be in court on April 6, 2018. Bail was set at $10,000 for both.

Amazon looks to lease new Boston office, mayor announces

BOSTON — Amazon is seeking a new office in Boston’s Seaport District, a move that could bring 2,000 employees to the city in the next few years.

The company filed documents this week with the Boston Planning and Development Agency to lease a building in the proposed Seaport Square development. Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh formally announced the project Tuesday, saying it puts a “tremendous vote of confidence” in the city’s economy.

Amazon and the developer are seeking $5 million in city property tax breaks, which would depend on the company creating at least 2,000 jobs in the area by 2025.

The company included Boston and neighboring Somerville on a shortlist of finalists for its second North American headquarters. The $5 billion project is estimated to generate up to 50,000 new jobs.

Antique dealer admits museum artifact is a fake

HARTFORD, Conn. — A man says he forged a museum artifact in Connecticut that was once described as a “treasure to behold for art and history buffs alike.”

Massachusetts antique dealer Harold Gordon tells The Hartford Courant he turned a plain writing desk into the “Bingham Family Civil War Memorial Secretary.” The piece was said to be a gift given to a Civil War veteran in honor of his brother who was killed at the Battle of Antietam.

Gordon says he sold the piece to a Connecticut antiques dealer because he needed the money. The dealer showed the piece at a 2015 Winter Antiques Show in New York, where it was purchased by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

The museum said in a statement Monday it has been offered a full refund.

From Associated Press