Saturday, 2:15 PM
Saugus man charged with supplying drugs to Patriots player
By Shelley Murphy and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
A 35-year-old Saugus man pleaded not guilty today in federal court to drug distribution charges after authorities allegedly caught him in a sting operation with help from a New England Patriots player who is facing a drug charge himself.
Daniel Ekasala faces three counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.
"He's very upset, he's nervous,'' said Ekasala's defense attorney, Bernard Grossberg.
Ekasala was charged after a sting operation in which New England Patriots offensive lineman Nicholas Kaczur participated, the Globe reported this morning. Kaczur agreed to participate after his own arrest in April on a charge of illegal possession of prescription painkillers, sources told the newspaper.
Kaczur, 28, wore a hidden recording device during three different alleged drug transactions in May at gas stations in Foxborough and North Attleborough and a supermarket parking lot in Sharon.
An affidavit filed by a federal agent describes the drug buys, making constant reference to an unnamed "cooperating witness."
"I'd be very interested to see what kind of deal Kaczur has gotten in the course of cooperating and what deal he has," Grossberg said after the hearing.
"What is the quid pro quo and what was Kaczur facing in order for him to feel it was in the best interest of him to cooperate? You would think there was more to this than a traffic stop mentioned in the Globe article," Grossberg said. "What is he getting as a result of his cooperation?''
Grossberg said at some point in the proceedings the government will be required to disclose what benefits Kaczur is receiving in exchange for his cooperation.
Kaczur was stopped for speeding on the New York State Thruway in Whitestown on April 27 and police discovered a small amount of oxycodone in his car, authorities said. The charge he faces is a misdemeanor.
Approached yesterday by a Globe reporter at his Attleboro home, Kaczur denied participating in a DEA investigation or purchasing drugs. He said, "I don't know what you're talking about, bro."
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