During a drug trafficking trial 18 years ago, the mention of Michael Conahan’s name brought the proceedings to a halt.
The terse instructions from U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik drew a sharp response from the federal prosecutor whose witness dropped the then-Hazleton district justice’s name shortly after taking the stand.
Huddling in the front of the courtroom so the jury could not hear them, Kosik, then-assistant U.S. Attorney Malachy Mannion and defense attorney Leonard Sands engaged in a testy discussion on how to proceed in the drug trafficking trial of Ronald Belletiere in Scranton.
According to a transcript of the testimony from April 9, 1991, Hazleton businessman Neal DeAngelo, called as a government witness, had just said he had been tipped by Conahan, “telling me that he had heard my brother’s name mentioned down in city hall there in reference to some drug activity that was going on and he just wanted to advise me of the name being mentioned.”
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