U.S. District Judge William Walls said that asking the jurors to continue their debate - even for a possible partial verdict - seemed like a "futile exercise" that could lead down a "slippery slope of coercion." He said he would like to interview the jury foreman, while Menendez's lawyer asked the judge for a mistrial.
Prosecutors say that Eric Troy Snell, 33, earned thousands of dollars serving as a conduit between corrupt members of a Baltimore police task force who stole the drugs and his brother, who sold them in Philadelphia. Investigators also have accused Snell of threatening the children of a Baltimore officer who pleaded guilty in the case.
The charges - including felony counts against five new defendants - significantly broadened what was already one of the largest hazing prosecutions in the nation's history and drew renewed attention to Piazza's Feb. 4 death after a booze-fueled fraternity initiation ritual. But swift condemnation from fraternity members and their supporters only highlighted the troubles that have plagued the case in recent months.
Midway through his testimony this week, Wheeler Neff - the Delaware lawyer whom federal prosecutors have labeled a co-architect of the business tactic that has enabled payday lenders to dodge government regulations for years - was finally asked the question he has waited to answer since the day he was indicted. His answer may prove key to unraveling the racketeering case against him and Main Line payday lending pioneer Charles Hallinan.
The federal jury weighing U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's fate deliberated quietly for six hours Tuesday, emerging only once to ask a question - and it was an odd one.
Government lawyers concluded their racketeering case against payday lending pioneer Charles Hallinan on Thursday, after 21 days of testimony that painted him as a predator who capitalized on the financial distress of low-income borrowers to whom he loaned money at annual interest rates approaching 800 percent.
According to police, the man was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the head just before 9 p.m. on the 2100 block of North Hancock Street.
As for the question circling both Ken Smukler and Donald "D.A." Jones since they were charged Tuesday - whether the indictment might convince either to reverse course, agree to cooperate, and lead investigators one step closer to Brady - Smukler lawyer Brian McMonagle sent a clear signal with his statements.
U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond held little back as he lit into the city's fallen top prosecutor, giving him the harshest punishment allowable by law, and calling him a "criminal" who "fed his face at the trough" of public money.
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s longtime political strategist has become the latest target in a widening federal probe of a $90,000 payment the congressman made to a primary challenger in 2012 to convince the man to drop out of the race.
Mohammed Jabateh, a 51-year-old father of five and owner of a Philadelphia-based international shipping company, is the first person found guilty of crimes tied to the numerous documented atrocities that occurred during the protracted, multi-faction civil war that ravaged Liberia between 1989 and 1997.
A war of words concluded the unusual trial that has played out in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia over eight days - as closely followed here in the West African hair salons and groceries that line Woodland Avenue as it is an ocean away in Liberia's capital of Monrovia.
Should he be convicted, Jabateh, the East Lansdowne resident, faces up to five years in prison for each of the counts of perjury and immigration fraud with which he is charged.
In a memo filed with U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond, government lawyers described the city's fallen top prosecutor as a crooked politician who took every opportunity to enrich himself through numerous frauds, thefts from his campaign fund, and bribes accepted from generous donors.
The 1994 occupation of Dasalamu - a jungle hamlet in northwestern Liberia - is perhaps the most detailed and wrenching account in the U.S. government's case against Mohammed Jabateh, a 51-year-old East Lansdowne man.
Throughout the trial of payday lending pioneer Charles Hallinan, which entered its third week Tuesday, government lawyers have sought to draw a clear contrast between Hallinan - who lives in a $2.3 million Villanova home with a Bentley in the driveway - and borrowers like Dawn Schmitt, whose inability to pay her $200 debt quickly pushed her closer to financial ruin.
Jeremy Roebuck covers federal courts and law enforcement.