2 California men plead guilty to bringing cocaine to Pittsburgh region

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The scheduled start of trial for five California men accused of helping to bring cocaine to Pittsburgh brought two guilty pleas, two no-shows and a postponement of jury selection today.

Slated for trial were Herbert Platt, 45, of Hercules; Kenneth V. Michael, 45, of Stockton; Kenneth R. Douglas, 65, of Hayward; Anthony London, 56, and Eric A. Barnett, 43, both of Oakland.

Mr. Platt and Mr. Michael changed their minds and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to launder money. Their sentencing hearings are set for April.

Mr. Barnett failed to show up, and U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone issued a warrant for his arrest. Mr. Douglas was said to be ill and the judge ordered him to appear Monday, when trial is also expected to start for Mr. London.

The five were accused of working on the supply side of a ring that brought an estimated 2,000 kilograms of cocaine to the Pittsburgh area over the course of a decade.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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