Former Angel Aikens Guilty on Crack Cocaine Charges
A federal jury Wednesday found former Angel and Kansas City Royal slugger Willie Aikens guilty of selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer.
The jury began deliberating the five charges against Aikens Wednesday morning and returned the verdict in the afternoon.
Aikens played for the Angels in 1977 and ’79, with the Royals from 1980 to 1983 and ’84 and ’85 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was convicted on four counts of selling crack and one count of involving a gun in a drug transaction.
The defense rested its case Wednesday morning without calling Aikens to testify.
The case centered on whether the government entrapped Aikens into converting cocaine powder into crack cocaine. If the jury found entrapment, Aikens could have been acquitted of all or some of the charges.
Aikens’ attorney, Bruce Simon, contended in closing arguments that the government, through an undercover agent with the Kansas City Police Department, persuaded Aikens to convert cocaine powder to crack because the penalty for selling crack is more severe than that for selling cocaine powder.
Aikens was accused of selling roughly 70 grams of a controlled substance. The conviction on selling crack could result in a 12-year prison term. The punishment for selling cocaine could have ranged only to 27 months.
The gun charge, stemming from a loaded, 12-gauge pump-action shotgun Aikens allegedly said he kept in his den for protection, would add to the punishment.