YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Ex-Juror Gets 2 Years for Simpson Drug Search Tip-Off

September 20, 2002|From Associated Press

MIAMI — A former federal grand juror was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for leaking information on an Ecstasy drug ring investigation before agents searched O.J. Simpson's home.

John Acosta, who pleaded guilty in April to obstruction of justice, also will have to serve three years' supervised release and perform 300 hours of community service.

Acosta tipped a friend that the friend's girlfriend, Zenaida Galvez, had been charged Nov. 27, 2001, under a sealed indictment, and that target locations in the sting included Simpson's home and the home of defendant Andrew Anderson.

Prosecutors said Galvez then told someone else in the case.

Just days later, on Dec. 4, search warrants were served at Simpson's and Anderson's homes, and agents found little or no evidence.

Personal loyalties must never be placed above civic responsibility or commitment to the common good, especially for a grand juror, U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz said in sentencing Acosta.

"A grand juror's oath of secrecy is one of the cornerstones of our system, and any violation of it undermines the public trust and confidence in our judicial system," said U.S. Atty. Marcos Daniel Jimenez.

Investigators targeted Anderson in the probe, alleging sales of more than 20,000 Ecstasy tablets. An FBI agent testified at a co-defendant's trial that Anderson supplied the party drug to the retired football star.

Simpson has denied through his attorney that he received the drug. He has not been charged.

All defendants in the Ecstasy case pleaded guilty, except for a Toledo, Ohio, developer, who was acquitted after admitting he bought Ecstasy for recreational use.

Los Angeles Times Articles