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Corruption

NEWS
May 14, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal jurors deliberating the fate of six members of an elite Philadelphia narcotics squad said Tuesday that they were at "an impasse on one or more counts. " The six-man, six-woman panel alerted U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno of their stalemate in a note just after 2:30 p.m. - about 20 hours into their discussions. The judge sent them back instructions to keep trying to reach a unanimous verdict. "Although it may seem like an eternity, it has only been 31/2 days of deliberations," Robreno told them.
NEWS
May 13, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) filed Monday to move his federal corruption trial from New Jersey to the District of Columbia, his lawyer arguing that nearly all the events at issue took place there and that the vast majority of key witnesses live or work in the capital. The filing also says holding the case in New Jersey could disrupt the functioning of the federal government, since at least three other senators cited in the indictment will "likely be called as witnesses" and numerous congressional aides, cabinet secretaries, and other high-ranking officials could be called.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
AFTER A DAY and a half of deliberations, a jury of six women and six men tasked with deciding the corruption case against six ex-narcotics cops left U.S. District Court yesterday without a verdict. The jurors are to decide whether to convict Officers Thomas Liciardello, 38, Brian Reynolds, 43, Michael Spicer, 47, Perry Betts, 47, Linwood Norman, 47, and Michael Speiser, 42, on various counts related to allegations that they threatened and robbed drug dealers, and falsified paperwork while working in a narcotics squad.
NEWS
May 8, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The federal corruption case against six members of an elite Philadelphia police narcotics squad will head to a jury Thursday, after a second day of closing arguments in which the defense team lauded its clients as heroes and likened the officers' accusers to "a freak show to end all. " Their speeches Wednesday ranged from indignant jeremiads - condemning the FBI for an "unconscionable" investigation - to sentimental paeans extolling the bravery of...
NEWS
May 7, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lawyers on both sides of the federal corruption trial of six members of an elite Philadelphia Police Department narcotics squad finally found on Tuesday - the day they began their closing arguments - a point on which they could agree: The decision in this case, they told jurors, should be easy. It would be "absurd," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney, to believe that a disgraced former police officer and 19 drug suspects independently came up with the same detailed lies about a series of police abuses.
NEWS
May 4, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
FORMER POLICE Officer Michael Spicer - one of six ex-narcotics cops on trial in an alleged corruption scandal - took the witness stand yesterday, telling jurors that no one was hung over a balcony, no windows were smashed with sledgehammers, and that searches and seizures were properly done by his squad. Spicer, 47, dressed in a blue suit, light-blue shirt and a tie, spoke calmly and clearly during his five hours on the stand. Wearing glasses, he explained what happened in about a dozen searches of homes of suspected drug dealers.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | BY LARA WITT, Daily News Staff Writer wittl@phillynews.com, 215-854-5927
A PHILADELPHIA police sergeant who supervised six former narcotics officers accused of planting evidence, threatening suspects and stealing drugs and money defended the ex-cops during their corruption trial in federal court yesterday. Testifying for the defense, Sgt. Joseph McCloskey told the court that the defendants had filed the proper paperwork and that he had never witnessed any theft or violence. "If that would have happened in my presence, we wouldn't be here today, I would have taken care of it seven years ago," he said.
NEWS
April 30, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
On Facebook, Philadelphia Police Officer Sean O'Malley has described the federal corruption trial of six of his drug squad colleagues as a "kangaroo court. " He can't wait, he wrote, to see his brothers in blue set free. And as he took the stand as a defense witness Tuesday, he aimed to deflate the most damning allegations against them. The $13,800 prosecutors said the indicted officers stole from a West Philadelphia home? O'Malley said he was the one who seized the money. The meth peddler in the Northeast who accused the drug squad of framing him?
NEWS
April 27, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
For four weeks, federal prosecutors have challenged the choices of six members of an elite Philadelphia police drug squad and accused them of pocketing drug money and trampling on suspects' rights. But as defense lawyers opened their case Friday, it was their turn to object to the FBI's methods. Moving through nine witnesses at a whirlwind clip, lawyer Jack McMahon left no decision made by federal investigators unquestioned. Why, McMahon asked, did agents wait until after indicting the officers to interview police supervisors who witnessed operations the FBI has since flagged as suspicious?
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