WESTFIELD, Mass. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS) – A Springfield man was sentenced to three months in jail for selling marijuana during the Fireworks for Freedom show in Stanley Park last summer.
Tristen Pearson, 21, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of Class D drug in Westfield District Court on Thursday. Judge William O’Grady asked the defendant whether “he was pleading guilty because he was guilty and for no other reason,” to which the defendant replied in the affirmative.
Pearson is already being held for a February 10th home invasion case involving two young women and a mother out of Hampden Superior Court, Assistant District Attorney Edward Kivari told the judge.
Judge O’Grady sentenced Pearson to three months in the house of correction with credit for time served from February 18th on the drug charge. This would appear Pearson could be released on May 18th, but he won’t be released due to the high cash bail from Hampden Superior Court case.
Pearson’s attorney, William Lyons, asked O’Grady to waive all fees, which the judge granted. The judge also granted the Commonwealth’s request for forfeiture of Pearson’s $180 in cash from drug sales seized the night of his arrest.
Shortly before 8:00 p.m. on August 16th, Pearson was arrested on charges of distributing a Class D drug, and police also found that Pearson had an outstanding warrant out of Springfield District Court from June 23rd. The warrant was for charges of resisting arrest and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle from a May 16 arrest, according to information obtained from Westfield District Court staff.
Westfield Police Officer Christopher Coach, who was assigned to patrol Stanley Park, located at 400 Western Avenue, during the fireworks was alerted by Westfield Police Cadet Alvarado of a drug transaction, according to court records. “The event was a family event inside a park with thousands of people,” Coach wrote.
Alvarado told Coach that he, “observed him (Pearson) make a hand to hand transaction with another male. He stated that he was so close that he could even smell the odor of marijuana,” Coach wrote in his statement of facts.
When Coach approached Pearson, he “could smell the odor of fresh marijuana,” he wrote.
Coach checked Pearson and found a bag of marijuana (a sandwich bag full of marijuana buds) in the defendant’s left front pocket and found nine $20 bills and one $5 folded in his right front pocket, “which is common for people selling marijuana,” according to court records.
Staff Writer Christine Charnosky can be reached at email@example.com
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