A New Jersey defense lawyer formerly involved in the trial of an ex-corrections officer was himself recently implicated in drug deals. The one-time corrections officer is waiting for sentencing in his own drug trafficking trial. When called upon to testify in his former lawyer’s trial on Mar. 1 in Newark, he reportedly told the jury that he had been supplied with large amounts of cocaine by the defense lawyer.
The criminal defense lawyer himself has been charged 24 times in federal court. The charges include racketeering, trafficking cocaine in the hundreds of kilograms, tampering with witnesses, the murder of an informant who worked with the FBI, running a service that facilitated sex workers in Manhattan and attempted murder.
The accused lawyer in this case has managed musicians, major drug moguls and U.S. soldiers. The corrections officer claimed that he was introduced to drug dealers near the premises of an eatery owned by the lawyer and allowed to sample cocaine there. He also claimed that the lawyer offered to facilitate drug transactions and tried to have him help traffic drugs directly. Evidence against the lawyer include audio recordings of him allegedly discussing at least one murder attempt.
Criminal charges against one individual can indirectly affect others. In this case, the accused corrections officer also made serious allegations against his own legal counsel in a separate court case. It is possible for defendants who may have been offered a sentencing deal in exchange for his testimony regarding another person’s alleged criminal activity. Because court cases can be so convoluted, those who are accused of criminal felonies and misdemeanors seek the assistance of lawyers who may help combat the consequences of seemingly unrelated legal proceedings and defend their right to a fair trial.
Source: The Star-Ledger, “Former corrections officer testifies Bergrin gave him cocaine,” Julia Terruso, Mar. 2, 2013