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The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: Pittsburgh Pirates, Pleas and Punishment

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball, by Aaron Skirboll, recently hit bookstore shelves and includes a case I defended back in 1985. At the time it was a scandal that rocked all of baseball and continues to symbolize the unfair treat treatment of the little guy in our judicial system.

It was a minor league case played out in a Major League ballpark. My client, Jeffrey Mosco, was bartender at a popular Pittsburgh Pirates hangout. He got to know player Dale Berra, who was the son of Yogi Berra and– as he soon learned– was a cocaine user.

Star-struck with this newfound connection to the Pirates scene, Mosco helped obtain cocaine for Berra. Berra then spread the word to two other Pirates ballplayers that Mosco could get cocaine for them, as well.

Mosco became one of seven defendants accused of drug dealing, and I was Mosco’s defense lawyer. We worked a deal, Mosco entered a guilty plea, and he received a year in jail.

Meanwhile, the three Pittsburgh Pirates– including Berra– were granted immunity and faced no consequences. This was an outrageous example of prosecutorial discretion gone awry. The rich and powerful went free while the poor and unknown went to jail.

I had the pleasure of meeting with the author of The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven as he researched this strange, tumultuous time in Major League Baseball.

You can learn more about this revealing new book—and my role in it—on Amazon.com here.

–Stanton D. Levenson

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