Mayor Marion Barry smoked crack cocaine at a downtown hotel, bringing his own "rocks" in a matchbox or hidden in his trouser leg, a witness testified Tuesday as Barry's trial opened.
Charles Lewis, a long-time associate of the Washington mayor, said he and Barry smoked cocaine together in December 1988 on at least two occasions, and in the Virgin Islands in 1986 and 1988.
Lewis said Barry brought his own crack to Lewis's hotel room in Washington on Dec. 16-17, 1988.
On Dec. 16, Barry took cocaine "rocks" out of a matchbox he kept in his pocket, Lewis said. On Dec. 17, Barry sat down and "it appeared to me he was fidgeting with the leg of his pants. . . . He was taking rock cocaine out of the bottom of the pants leg and putting it on the desk," Lewis said.
Barry is on trial on 10 misdemeanor cocaine possession charges, one misdemeanor cocaine conspiracy charge and three felony counts of lying to a grand jury about his alleged drug use.
He leaned back in his chair as prosecutor Richard Roberts described him as a habitual cocaine user who lied about his activities to a grand jury. But he leaned forward as Lewis testified the two men smoked cocaine from a "pipe" they made from a sherbet glass, a rubber band and a piece of foil left over from a room-service meal.
Lewis, a Virgin Islands native who worked on a joint project between the Virgin Islands government and the District of Columbia, also said Barry smoked cocaine on two trips to the islands in 1986 and 1988.
On some of these occasions, Lewis said the group would smoke what one prosecutor called "M.B. Specials": regular cigarettes in which the tobacco had been replaced with flaked cocaine.
Barry was accompanied then by Hazel ""Rasheeda" Moore, Lewis said. She cooperated with government investigators in luring Barry to a hotel last January for the "sting" that brought about his arrest. Barry's wife, Effi, sat motionless as prosecutors described Barry as having numerous "girlfriends," including a "torrid relationship" with Ms. Moore.
Lewis' testimony he obtained drugs for Barry, got money from him and used drugs with him all relate to felony perjury charges against Barry. The mayor told a grand jury in 1989 he had never given anything of value to Lewis, used drugs with him or seen Lewis use or sell drugs, according to the indictment.
Lewis is testifying under a plea agreement with the government and has served a 15-month prison term on two drug charges, one of which involved supplying Barry with cocaine.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Roberts said: "This is a case about deceit and deception, designed to keep the public . . . from discovering the unfortunate and seamy truth about Marion Barry."
Defense lawyer Kenneth Mundy countered: "This is a case about deals the government made with the devil. About seven years ago, the government made a determination it was going to get Marion Barry, and that it would go to any lengths to do so."
He added, "The government provided the atmosphere and the accommodation, the bait and the booze, the pipe and the drugs. . . . The evidence will show entrapment pure and simple, . . . a respectable and honorable defense."