We describe the precise positioning of a reporter gene within heterochromatin where it may be silenced. A transposition of the 59E-60A region into pericentric heterochromatin ensnares distal 59E-60A via somatic pairing. The frequency with which a brown (bw) reporter gene in 59E is silenced is influenced by chromosomal configurations. Silencing occurs only when the bw+ reporter is unpaired due to heterozygosity with a deficiency, where the frequency of bw+ reporter expression is correlated with the extent of bw gene and flanking sequence present. Surprisingly, the frequency of pairing between the transposition in heterochromatin and distal 59E observed cytologically is indistinguishable from the frequency of pairing of homologous chromosomes at 59E in wild-type larval brains, regardless of configuration. Therefore, bringing a susceptible reporter gene into close proximity with heterochromatin does not necessarily affect its expression, but local pairing changes resulting from altered chromosomal configurations can lead to silencing. We also find that an ensnared distal copy of bw that is interrupted by a heterochromatic insertion enhances silencing. This demonstrates that bw can be simultaneously acted upon by pericentric and distal blocks of heterochromatin.