Vermont man's death at Franklin County Jail and House of Correction

Date: 
10.17.2019

Ian Biercuk, 35, of Jamaica, Vermont, was arrested by the Massachusetts State Police at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, following a traffic stop on Interstate 91 northbound.   Biercuk was driving a vehicle with an expired registration, and his driver’s license was suspended.  Biercuk also had a pending arrest warrant out of the Greenfield District Court.  An inventory search of Biercuk’s vehicle revealed 21 used and unused wax baggies suspected to contain heroin and heroin residue.  A passenger in Biercuk’s vehicle admitted that they were returning from Holyoke, where they had gone to purchase heroin.    

During booking at the Shelburne Falls barrack, the on-call assistant clerk magistrate set Biercuk’s bail at $5,100, which Biercuk was unable to post.  He was therefore transported to the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction to await his arraignment in court on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.  During a cell check around 4:45 p.m. that afternoon, a corrections officer discovered Biercuk unresponsive on his bunk bed.  Officers and medical personnel performed CPR on Biercuk until an ambulance arrived to transport to Biercuk to Baystate Franklin Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed no trauma, injuries, or other obvious causes of death.  A preliminary toxicology screen was positive for narcotics, including fentanyl.  At this time, Biercuk’s death is being investigated as a likely overdose, although the Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the official cause of death.  The investigation into Biercuk’s death is being conducted by the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit attached to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.