John Milner testified today he used his status as a retired baseball player to get past guards and into Pittsburgh Steelers NFL games, where he purchased cocaine from accused dealer Robert McCue.
Milner, testifying under a grant of immunity from prosecution on the fifth day of McCue's trial, said he also bought the drug from McCue at golf outings and picnics and while the pair drove to watch Hulk Hogan and the Iron Sheik wrestle at the Civic Arena.
Milner, who testified two weeks ago at the federal trial of convicted baseball cocaine dealer Curtis Strong, again said that he bought from, bought for and shared cocaine with former Pittsburgh Pirates teammates Dale Berra and Dave Parker.
Before the government rested its case this afternoon, Milner testified that he, Parker, Berra, Lee Lacy and Rod Scurry were the Pirates' major cocaine users during the 1981 and 1982 seasons -- each buying six to seven grams a week. "We would split the drug," he said. "If I had it, I shared it; if they had it, they shared it."
A gram of cocaine usually sold at that time for $90 to $100, according to Milner's testimony.
But Milner resisted an attempt by McCue's defense attorney, John Nickoloff, to portray Parker as a dealer or "middle man" for buys in San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
"I wasn't dealing with them directly. Dave Parker knew of them," said Milner, referring to his cocaine sources. "We did things. We did them together, but I didn't consider him (Parker) the middle man."
Milner said Berra gave him money to make buys for him, and that he bought from Parker.
Milner testified to nine specific buys from McCue between June 1983 and January 1985 under prosecution questioning and admitted under cross-examination to one more specific buy in 1984 for which the government has made no charge.
McCue, 38, a former comptroller of the local Easter Seal Society and a resident of the Pittsburgh suburb of Upper St. Clair, is charged with 13 counts of drug trafficking between June 1983 and January 1985. Berra testified to four specific buys from McCue last week.
Two FBI agents and two of McCue's former Easter Seal supervisors followed Milner to the stand before prosecuting Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Elliot McLean rested his case. Nickoloff will open the defense Tuesday.
Earlier today, in another courtroom of the Federal Courthouse, Strong was refused bond -- for the second time -- pending sentencing Oct. 21.