HOLYOKE -- Several locals were hit with drug charges in Holyoke District Court on Thursday after being arrested, allegedly with heroin, in that city Wednesday.
Members of Berkshire County Drug Task Force (BCDTF), working in conjunction with other agencies, say they discovered 122 bags of heroin -- or $2,440 worth -- and a small amount of cocaine during a vehicle stop conducted at roughly 7:30 p.m. in the city that day.
The suspects, Matthew Collins, 29, Matthew Roberts, 28 and Melanie Kemp, 33, all of Adams, and Crystal Beau, 31, of North Adams, were arraigned and released on personal recognizance.
Each has plead not guilty to charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, drug violation near a school zone, conspiracy to violate the controlled substance act and possession of heroin. Kemp faces an additional charge of possession of cocaine.
Holyoke Police Department Narcotics Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted BCDTF in the arrests.
An investigation of "a couple weeks" preceded Wednesday’s stop, according to Adams Police Det. Lawrence Ordyna.
Ordyna said Friday the arrests are part of local law enforcement’s continued effort to stem the flow of hard drugs into Berkshire County from Holyoke.
"There’s a lot of drug trafficking and heroin coming into our area from [Holyoke], and [the arrests] were part of ongoing investigations related to that problem," Ordyna said.
Ordyna described it as a "joint investigation into the trafficking of heroin from Holyoke, MA into Northern Berkshire County" in an earlier release.
Collins, Roberts, Kemp and Beau all have had pretrial hearings scheduled for March 11 in Holyoke District Court.
According to Transcript records, more than a dozen Northern Berkshire heroin arrests in the last calendar year have mostly involved drugs acquired in Holyoke.
To reach Phil Demers, email