White-Collar Crime

Drug trafficker serving time testifies attorney sold kilos of coke from his law office

A witness currently serving time for drug trafficking admitted in federal court in Newark, N.J., on Monday that he hopes to get his sentence reduced by testifying against attorney Paul Bergrin, who is accused of operating his Newark criminal defense firm as a racketeering enterprise.

But Rondre Kelly also insisted that Bergrin sold him more than 100 kilos of cocaine over a two-year period, several times doing so from his law office or the adjacent street area, the Record reports.

On several occasions, said Kelly, a former auto body shop operator, he called Bergrin and drove to his law office, where a worker would come out with a gym bag containing 10 or more kilos of cocaine and place it in his car.

Bergrin, who is defending himself in the case, suggested that Kelly was out to frame him, and cast doubt on his testimony by pointing out inconsistencies and noting that the law office was near both a police station and a restaurant filled with officers, the newspaper recounts.

Testimony is expected to resume Wednesday.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Is lawyer ‘a drug dealer, a pimp and a murderer’? Bergrin says he’s innocent, calls witnesses liars”

ABAJournal.com: “Woman says lawyer Paul Bergrin pushed her to lie, as a child, about her dad’s attack on her mom”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.