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Addiction in Franklin County

Heroin, guns land Orange man in state prison

GREENFIELD — An Orange man will spend the next five to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty to heroin and firearms charges.

Kenneth Dennis, 47, of 18 Mechanic St., Orange, pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of heroin as a subsequent offense, five counts of being a career criminal in possession of a firearm, an additional count of heroin distribution and illegal possession of ammunition in Franklin Superior Court Wednesday.

Dennis was sentenced to six to eight years in the state prison in Walpole, with credit given for 314 days served while awaiting trial. He was given two years of probation for the ammunition and single heroin distribution charge, to be served after release. He was warned that, should he violate that probation, he could get up to another 10 years in jail.

Dennis was arrested on May 3, 2013, when the Northwestern District Anti-Crime Task Force raided his Orange apartment.

Police had obtained the warrant after an informant made controlled buys of heroin packaged in tinfoil from Dennis on April 12, 2013, May 1, 2013, and the morning of the raid, Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Bucci told the court.

Dennis met them at the entrance, and cooperated with officers, showing them where to find heroin and guns in his apartment, said Bucci.

In the apartment were four shotguns, one .22-caliber rifle and a “small amount” of heroin, along with scales and packaging materials, said Bucci.

Dennis’ attorney, Jon Heyman, said his client sold drugs to supplement his Social Security disability income, and support his own heroin habit.

Heyman said his client received $1,000 monthly from SSDI for post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries, half of which he had to pay for past-due child support. Haymond said Dennis has seven adult children.

Dennis will not have to pay court fees after his release, due to his inability to find work because of his injuries and his eighth-grade education.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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