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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?
NEWS
April 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former Philadelphia police officer who was acquitted last year of extending loans at illegally high interest rates was sentenced Monday to 10 months in prison for attempting to obstruct the FBI investigation of his case. Gary Cottrell, 48, said that while he always felt confident he would be found not guilty of charges of making extortionate loans, the stress of the investigation surrounding his business had altered his judgment. He was found guilty in November of asking two people to whom he had granted loans to lie to agents about the interest they had been charged.
NEWS
April 11, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
After seven days of testimony alleging that an elite Philadelphia narcotics unit routinely cracked skulls, pocketed drug money, and lied on police reports to cover up its crimes, the federal jury hearing the corruption case against six of its members could be excused for wanting answers to a few nagging questions. Among them: Where were these officers' bosses? And what did they have to say when the FBI showed up on their doorsteps? The answers, as FBI case agent John Hess testified Thursday, are complicated.
NEWS
March 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
  A Washington-based FBI agent whose alleged heroin use has prompted the dismissals of cases against 28 drug defendants, was himself charged Friday in federal court. Prosecutors allege Matthew Lowry, 33, of Upper Marlboro, Md., repeatedly checked seized heroin out of an evidence room for his own use, cut it with Creatine and laxatives to hide the missing amounts and returned it while forging signatures and evidence labels. His lawyer, Robert C. Bonsib, said Lowry has been cooperating with the Justice Department investigation since his crimes were discovered and intends to plead guilty at an upcoming court hearing.
NEWS
February 21, 2015 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 10 years that have passed since Richard Petrone Jr. disappeared have not softened the hurt his mother feels today. On Thursday, Marge Petrone of Cherry Hill stood beside federal, state, and county investigators 10 years to the day since Petrone, 35, and his girlfriend, Danielle Imbo, 34, disappeared after having drinks with friends in a bar on South Street in Philadelphia. "Ten years is too long not to have justice for two people who did nothing wrong and didn't deserve this," said Petrone, her voice cracking.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
PARENTS envision a perfect road for their baby when it bursts into the world, mapping out a happy life beyond the diapers and college degrees. They take off the training wheels, give the bicycle seat one last push and let go. They wipe some ketchup off a teen's face before high-school graduation, and 10 years later they straighten his bow tie and let go a little more. They worry, always, because they know that the real road's full of potholes and blind curves, but they never imagine it ending, and never fully let go. "You always feel it. It never goes away," said Marge Petrone, 66. "You can't imagine outliving your child.
NEWS
December 28, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal and local authorities on Friday asked for the public's help in finding a serial bank robber who in just two weeks has made off with cash from four banks and attempted to rob two more. The man tried to rob a Beneficial Bank in Center City on Dec. 11, and from there, he has hit banks around the city, from West Mount Airy to Point Breeze and Ogontz. On Friday, the man attempted to rob the Wells Fargo Bank at 1575 N. 52d St. in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia, federal authorities said.
NEWS
December 2, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
AS THE DAYS-long search effort to find Shane Montgomery - the Roxborough man who went missing after leaving a Manayunk pub early Thanksgiving morning - continued last night, the young man's family found a small glimmer of hope in their quest for answers in his mysterious disappearance. Philadelphia Police Marine Unit divers, who for hours yesterday dredged the Manayunk Canal in the search for the 21-year-old West Chester University student who was home for Thanksgiving break, came up with nothing.
NEWS
December 2, 2014 | By Allison Steele and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
The FBI task force that helped find and rescue Philadelphia kidnap victim Carlesha Freeland-Gaither has joined the search for missing college student Shane Montgomery. As agents began reinterviewing witnesses in the Manayunk area Sunday, a police marine unit ended its inch-by-inch search in the frigid Manayunk Canal, failing to turn up any trace of Montgomery. The marine unit may next begin searching the nearby Schuylkill. Montgomery's mother, Karen, said she felt bittersweet relief that her son had not been found in the murky canal.
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