MIAMI – An Ecstasy dealer supplied the illegal party drug to retired football star O.J. Simpson and six other people, an FBI agent testified Monday at the trial of an Ohio developer.
Five of them, but not Simpson, received the pills in amounts indicating they were distributing them, FBI agent Chris Piersza testified during the federal drug trial of Mark Nowakowski. Simpson received smaller amounts, Piersza said.
Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, denied his client received even a single Ecstasy pill from the admitted dealer, Andrew Anderson, who was known to Simpson as Adrian Burke.
"If any FBI agent is claiming that O.J. Simpson actually took possession of any narcotic at all, he is greatly mistaken," Galanter said. "He never ever ever ever got an Ecstasy pill from Adrian Burke, ever."
Anderson, Nowakowski and seven others were indicted last November on Ecstasy distribution conspiracy charges. Simpson was not indicted, but his house was searched by the FBI the following month as part of an ongoing investigation.
Nowakowski, of Toledo, Ohio, could face a 20-year prison sentence if convicted of conspiring with intent to distribute Ecstasy.
Co-defendants John Thorburn and Anderson pleaded guilty rather than go to trial. Thorburn testified he was the middleman in the sale of Ecstasy obtained from Anderson and sold at cost to Nowakowski.
According to transcripts of wiretapped phone calls, Anderson once said he left his Ecstasy supply in his car at Simpson's suburban Miami house. In another call the same day, Anderson said young women were taking pictures as he, Simpson and Simpson's teen-age son Justin walked down Ocean Drive, the tourist-clogged center of South Beach.
Prosecutor Tony Gonzalez conceded Nowakowski was not selling the party drug, but said he did not need to be making a profit to be guilty of distribution conspiracy.
Nowakowski made calls to Thorburn's tapped cellular phone while the developer was taking a South Beach vacation last year that lasted several months, Gonzalez said in his opening statement.
Nowakowski was introduced to Thorburn, the target of a federal cellular phone wiretap, by a friend name Tommy Barone, Gonzalez said. Taped calls indicated the three men became partners in Ecstasy purchases, he said.
"The three of them would get together to see how many pills they could buy to get a better price," Gonzalez said. Quantities quickly jumped from 2 to 20, then 50 and 100 pills, he said.
The defense exercised its right to make its opening statement after the prosecution rests.
Anderson planned to testify for the prosecution in exchange for a chance at a lenient sentence. During jury selection, defense attorney Ed O'Donnell implied that Anderson would lie to get leniency.