Judge's ruling a setback for Hawaii meth ring case

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A judge dealt federal prosecutors in a Hawaii meth ring trial a setback by ruling that the government was "sloppy" and "tardy" in providing discovery materials to the defense.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruled that she won't dismiss the case against the six men who are on trial but will allow certain witnesses to be recalled. The jury will be told it's because of government misconduct.

The judge is also referring Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Loo to the Department of Justice's office of professional responsibility.

The trial resumes Thursday. An 18-count indictment alleges the men were part of a conspiracy involving hundreds of pounds of crystal meth.

Defense attorneys sought dismissal because prosecutors didn't provide discovery material for cooperating witnesses until after some of them testified.

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