Men skip out on trial; jury says guilty, not goodbye
A jury in U.S. District Court in Seattle convicted two South King County men of conspiracy to distribute ecstasy on Friday.
But neither Hardeep Singh, 18, of Kent, nor Kaushal Kainth, 21, of Renton, was there to hear the guilty verdict. Both fled during the three-day trial, and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones has signed arrest warrants on them.
Both are citizens of India with ties to Canada.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle says Singh never appeared after the first day of trial. Kainth went to lunch on the last day of trial and never returned. Jones told the jury to ignore their absence and not to speculate on where they might be.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says testimony and court documents showed the men agreed in May to pay a third man to deliver ecstasy and another drug, the stimulant BZP, to others at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila and in San Jose, Calif.
The third man was a confidential informant who record the men on audio and video. The two defendants gave the man 285,000 pills worth more than $2.8 million, prosecutors say. Law enforcement seized the drugs.
Each man faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. They also face penalties for fleeing during trial.
Posted by Scott Sunde at October 30, 2009 11:56 a.m.