Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Government Asks Jury To Believe A Bunch of Drug Dealers

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Should the jury at the rogue cops trial believe stories of alleged police misconduct as told by a bunch of drug dealers?

Yes, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney, because the tales the drug dealers told are "shockingly similar" to the stories told years later by former Officer Jeffrey Walker, after he got caught red-handed in an FBI sting operation.

No, said defense lawyer Jack McMahon, because the drug dealers are a bunch of lying criminals with no corroborating evidence to back up their ridiculous stories. As for Jeffrey Walker, McMahon said, he's a liar and a thief who would "do anything to save himself."

The doors in Courtroom 15A were locked throughout the day today as lawyers on both sides of the case gave their closing arguments before Judge Eduardo C. Robreno.

McCartney was content with attacking the defendants in the case, six former members of the narcotics field unit accused of conspiring to beat and rob the drug dealers they busted, and covering up their tracks with phony police reports.

McMahon, however, spent as much time attacking the government as he did the dirty cop and the drug dealers.

"What the government has done in this case should be shocking to all of us," McMahon told the jury. The feds have displayed "extraordinary gullibility" while embracing a disreputable cast of characters, McMahon charged. "They [the feds]  have failed at every level to investigate and corroborate."

McCartney went first with the prosecution's closing argument. She told the jury that the defendants in the case thought their crimes would never "see the light of day" because they wore badges. They thought they were above the law, she said.

You should believe the stories told by the drug dealers, the prosecutor said. Because Jeffrey Walker told the same stories to the FBI.

She talked about how the cops grabbed drug dealer Michael Cascioli back in 2007 and "leaned him over that balcony" 19 floors up.

"Why would Mr. Cascioli make that up," McCartney asked. She reminded the jury that Cascioli's lawyer remembered his client making that allegation when he was arrested years earlier, even though the files in the case were long gone. You don't forget a story like that, the prosecutor quoted the lawyer as saying.

"It did happen to Mr. Cascioli," McCartney insisted. Officer Thomas Liciardello, the prosecutor said, told Officers Linwood Norman and Jeffrey Walker "what they had to do" to get Cascioli to surrender the code on his palm pilot.

Officer Liciardello got his way, she said, and the information on the palm pilot led to the arrest of more drug dealers.

McCartney went through other stories told by the drug dealers.

Orlando Ramirez got busted in Upper Darby with four kilos of cocaine that he had stashed in a black bag on the floor of his Chevy Blazer. Then, two plainclothes cops pulled up and busted him: Linwood Norman and Jeffey Walker.

Ramirez, however, was charged with only possessing one kilo of cocaine.

Norman filled out a police report that said the bust happened in Philadelphia, and that only one kilo was recovered. Norman's nephew, Rubin Tidwell, sold the rest of the coke for at least $32,000, the prosecutor said. The nephew subsequently gave the officers their cut: $17,000, she charged.

It was a "win-win" for everyone involved, the prosecutor said. Even the drug dealer was happy because he was only charged with possession of one kilo of cocaine instead of four.

She talked about how marijuana dealer Jason Kennedy allegedly got "punched in the face" by Officer Michael Spicer. And how marijuana dealer Victor Rosario had his Rolex watch allegedly stolen by Officer Brian Reynolds.

"Mr. Reynolds liked Rolex watches," the prosecutor said.

McCartney brought up text messages sent in 2011 by Liciardello to Walker, and recovered by the government.

Liciardello, she said, called Walker a rat and "Sir Snitch A Lot."

"You went up there and talked about stuff," the prosecutor quoted Liciardello's text to Walker. "You didn't tell me" you were going to do it.

"You are dead to everyone on this squad," Liciardello texted Walker.

McCartney talked about the real meaning of those text messages.

"That's what a conspiracy is," McCartney said. "He doesn't call him a liar," she said about Liciardello's angry texts to Walker. "He calls him a snitch."

"That's as close to an admission as Mr. Liciardello is going to get," she said.

Cops, she said, "take an oath" to uphold the law. "We give them a lot of power," she said. They are supposed to "use it responsibly."

Consider the evidence against the defendants, she said, and "find them guilty."

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon told the jury about two words they didn't hear during the prosecutor's closing argument: "reasonable doubt." There's all kinds of reasonable doubt in this case, McMahon said.

The defense lawyer claimed the government went on a crusade to prove a bad story line fed to them by Walker and the drug dealers.

The government, McMahon said, was only interested in "their version of the truth." That's why they didn't interview about a dozen fellow officers and superior officers who were witnesses to the incidents at issue in the case.

McMahon reminded the jury about what FBI Agent John Hess said when McMahon asked the agent why he didn't interview a police lieutenant who witnessed several incidents.

"I didn't think he would tell me the truth," McMahon quoted the agent as saying.

In this case, it's the jury that will determine the truth, McMahon said, hovering above the prosecution table.

"Not you Agent Hess," McMahon shouted at the agent.

McMahon talked about how the government had charged his client, Brian Reynolds, with participating in three alleged episodes of police misconduct. Then the government found out that Reynolds was either on vacation in Florida, or not at work on the dates of three episodes.

The feds, McMahon said, had indicted Officer Reynolds for allegedly participating in three events when "he wasn't even there."

"That tells you everything you need to know about this case," McMahon said.

McMahon disparaged other witnesses in the case.

"You turn over enough rocks you'll find some bugs," he said. But the government, he said, had "an obligation to verify when you start with suspect people."

Instead, the government relied on the words of "15 bags of trash," McMahon said, talking about the drug dealers who testified on behalf of the government.

The biggest pile of trash, McMahon said, was the "one on top," Jeffrey Walker.

McMahon ran down for the jury the list of witnesses the government didn't call in the case.

Such as Javier Blanco, the drug dealer who claimed he was held hostage at a hotel by the defendants, after they supposedly terrorized his family.

"Blanco, where's his wife" to back up his story, McMahon said.

Drug dealer Michael Procopio said the cops stole $18,000 that he received as wedding cash.

"You hear from his wife," McMahon asked.

How about Victor Rosario, the marijuana dealer who claimed the cops stole his Rolex watch and a cache of jewelry he supposedly bought from Tiffany as presents for his girlfriend.

Did we ever hear from the girlfriend, McMahon asked.

McMahon talked about other holes in the case.

Jeffrey Walker claimed he carried a drug dealer's safe stuffed with cash down 17 flights of stairs. The cops stole the money and Walker supposedly threw the safe in the river.

A team of divers spent three days looking for that safe, McMahon told the jury. Did the divers ever find it?

McMahon talked about "these ridiculous stories" where the defendants in separate incidents allegedly dangled two drug dealers over high-rise balconies.

Why would drug dealer Michael Cascioli lie about being dangled over a balcony by the cops, McMahon asked, picking up on McCartney's argument.

That's a good question, McMahon said. How about "self-protection?" McMahon said that drug dealer Cascioli had to explain to his supplier why he gave him up to the cops.

McMahon mocked marijuana dealer Jason Kennedy as "a poster boy for why you shouldn't do drugs." He ripped another government witness, former state trooper Kenneth Williams, as a "scammer living in a pig sty."

Williams's rundown row house had "buckets of feces and urine" in it, McMahon said, and yet, Williams claimed he had $14,000 hanging around in a pair of pants. Money that the cops allegedly stole, yet Williams had no proof that ten years earlier, as he said, he had received the money in a worker's compensation claim.

Another government witness, Percocet dealer Leonard Sammons, reeked of Grey Goose when he came in to testify on behalf of the government, McMahon said. And did you know that after he got busted by the cops, Sammons filed a civil suit against the city, McMahon told the jury.

"You deal drugs, you get caught, you sue for anxiety," McMahon said incredulously.

McMahon ripped former Police Officer Jeffrey Walker as somebody who lies, cheats and steals, and "would do anything to save himself."

McMahon quoted what Walker told him on the witness stand about "truth is an evolving process."

The truth is the truth, McMahon said. It doesn't evolve; it never changes.

"The government made a deal with this liar," McMahon said. "He has a free pass to say anything."

McMahon reminded the jury how Walker testified that he planted drugs on innocent people in at least 20 cases.

The government's audacity in using a witness like that "ought to trouble each and every one of you," McMahon told the jury. "Twenty innocent people got convicted just like that. What more needs to be said?"

McMahon called Tommy Liciardello's text messages to Jeffrey Walker a "red herring."

Those text messages were made well before the current federal investigation, McMahon said. Licardello was talking about an internal police investigation, not this investigation.

He talked about Officer Walker getting "so drunk he lost his gun." And who did he blame, McMahon reminded jurors.

Walker blamed Tommy Liciardello for allegedly playing a practical joke on him by stealing the gun. And then Walker's fellow officers found the gun underneath the seat in Walker's patrol car, the defense lawyer said.

McMahon reminded jurors that while the government relied on a dirty cop and a bunch of drug dealers as witnesses, the defense called upon the likes of Chief Inspector Werner, Lt. Otto, Lt. Jackson, and Sgt. McCloskey, most of whom were sitting in the second row of the courtroom.

This case boils down to the "tale of two stings," McMahon concluded.

Back in May 2013, the FBI caught Jeffrey Walker red-handed in a sting operation when he walked out the door of a drug dealer's house with $15,000 in his hands and five pounds of marijuana.

On April 10, 2012, the feds tried to pull a sting on the defendants. They used as bait FBI agent posing as a drug dealer who was driving around with $8,500 worth of cash in his car.

The feds expected the cops to steal the drug dealer's cash. And what was the result?

"Every single dollar was put on property receipts," McMahon said.

"Is this not reasonable doubt," McMahon said. "These are honest cops. That tells it all."

Closing statements from five remaining defense lawyers, plus an hour-long rebuttal from the government, begin at 9 a.m. sharp tomorrow in Courtroom 15A at the federal courthouse, 7th and Market. Show up early and without your cell phone or you'll be locked out.

34 comments:

  1. Great article Ralph! Thank you!
    Looking forward to these men getting their lives back this week. Hard to believe in this day and age this went to trial with the, dare I say evidence ( because there was none ) that the prosecution presented. It's inexcusable and I do hope every single one of these men have a law suit against the federal government by Monday morning.
    Couple more days fellas, hang in there. Will be saying a prayer for you and you're family to get through the next couple of days at ease and looking forward to the weekend being free men.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lol. Guilty as alll hell. Im friggin loving it!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are "friggin loving it"? Loving what? Did you even read the article?? Oh...maybe you can't read...sorry about that.

      Delete
    2. He must work at McDonalds, and I'm LOVIN IT too buddy, Lovin that NOT GUILTY Verdict.
      11:07 are they hiring ? I know a couple of FEDS that will be looking for new jobs by the weekend

      Delete
  3. My prayers are with all of you guys and your family's

    ReplyDelete
  4. guilty as charged, bail revoked, spice with a new charge, perjury,! then the ratting.begins . they are a disgrace to the badge.they make the honest cop job a lot harder, because of their greed and there's thievery

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww how hard do they make the "jealous little bitch" cop job? Hard or easy for you?

      Delete
    2. HARD, thats why he's hating

      Delete
  5. guilty as charged, bail revoked, spice with a new charge, perjury,! then the ratting.begins . they are a disgrace to the badge.they make the honest cop job a lot harder, because of their greed and there's thievery

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Goodwin and Billy C you idiot fucks still duplicating your messages get ready to go back to jail boys. Not Guilty

      Delete
    2. Get ready to drown your sorrows in an 8 ball of meth while saying bye bye to your civil cases fellas!!

      Delete
  6. Hi all you anonymous haters and fellow pieces of shit. The ones who should be guilty here are the ones who even let this trial come to fruition. See these people are the ones who should be accountable for ruining 6 lives on hear say from one dirty cop caught red handed. Then you got 16 illiterates who tried to rehearse what the Government wanted them to say and they couldn't. get that right perjuring them selves after defense cross examination. There the only ones guilty here of lying and trying to get reduced sentences for there crimes. Remember they were all found guilty. There cases were.nt thrown out. Why is that because these officers did there Job as heard by there Supervisors. Yes there are people Guilty here and its not these 6 defendants. No just the ones who believed a drunken 'attempted suicidal piece of shit and the 16 convicted drug dealers because some one had a hard on and could.nt the job done. So they used the lies of these witnesses and commited the same crimes that these 6 officers are being charged with. Where you flunkies and drug dealers is the Justice in that. The only Guilty partys here are you the agents and the US sttorneys office for letting this case go to trial in the first place.
    The Jury will find these Fine 6 cops NOT GUILTY ACROSS THE BOARD . And then the next trial will be for back pay and there Jobs back and the mental anguish they and there familys had to go through because the Government had a hard on! !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These un educated junkie loser drug dealing pieces of shit see a guilty verdict because they see their civil suits they see a guilty verdict because they see their own cases getting thrown out, they don't see a guilty verdict because of the facts of the case ( 98 percent of them couldn't follow articles this long even if their baby mamas read it to them)
      The fellow officers see a guilty verdict because they see jealousy, they see 6 men who were outstanding at what they did and they knew it.so on their eyes if that made these gentlemen cocky or to cool for them ( 98 percent of those little catty school girls couldn't make it a week in narcotics getting jobs done )
      The good news, we don't have to try to explain logic, we don't have to explain the facts that are sitting right in front of their faces and we don't have to explain how to speak English for much longer! Like Jack McMann said, when you've got 16 bags of trash...at the end of the day all you have is a pile of trash. To all you piles of trash that got on here and talked shit for the passed 8 weeks because of your own person vendettas with these men, not because of the facts of the case....get ready idiots,
      I hope you know how to read these words
      N-O-T G-U-I-L-T-Y.
      And for the faggot ass pussy jealous co workers, get ready to start kissing their asses and pretending to be friends ( or trying to be friends ) with these gentlemen just like you did before all of this happened. NOT GUILTY.
      Hurry up Start thinking of your lame excuses now that you're going to comment as to why they got a NOT GUILTY Verdict because its close fellas! REAL CLOSE.
      GOODLUCK TODAY GENTLEMEN, almost done!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
    2. JB called himself a piece of shit!!! Hahaha

      can you read or write?

      Delete
    3. pretty sure he meant "fellow" as in haters along with pieces of shit

      Delete
    4. I.ll make my self clearer you badge wearing hating piesces of shit. Got it now. Lol

      Delete
  7. Praying the jury sees these lies. Not sure how they couldn't.
    Good luck Gentlemen!!! There are so many of us in your corner and we thank you for your service to our city.

    ReplyDelete
  8. NOT GUILTY !!!!! GOOD LUCK MY BROTHERS IN BLUE !!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. NOT GUILTY !!! The feds got in bed with pieces of shit , and they wake up smelling like shit !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Guilty. The feds made the jury aware of one word CONSPIRACY LOL. OOOooch it hurts. Thumbs up to our Federal gov. For having the balls to lock these 6 ex dirty narcs up! Theses type of scum bags are worst then the dope dealers because these 6 trash can cops used their badges to break the very law they are supposed yo uphold. Give them all 20 years. Great job Feds...if you didnt take these 6 bums off the police force they may have killed some one by now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So you say "The Feds made the jury aware of one word CONSPIRACY"
    Well they forgot to provide the jury with another word/thing "EVIDENCE".
    Sorry pal, not gonna happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. McCartney turns to Wzorek after closing arguments.....i knew we forgot something.....Evidence.
      im with M.T, i dont think its going to happen. just because she said "CONSPIRACY" doesnt mean she proved conspiracy ( in my opinion she did not, not even close )
      there is a TON of reasonable doubt in this case. for instance EVERY SINGLE one of the FEDS "witnesses" she said their stories were all similar but they really were not. Each one got on the stand and got caught in lies and JUST LIKE THE FEDS THEY HAD NO EVIDENCE OF ANYTHING, and just like McMahon said evidence that if their stoires were true would have been easy to track down.
      she proves no conspiracy
      there was no evidence in this case
      these men are walking free this week.

      Delete
    2. Maybe the prosecutors would like to go to jail because the "stories" were similar, The words conspiracy and scheme are staples in prosecutors vocabularies, periodically sprinkled throughout their trials, and spoken with disgust and loathing, least the jury not get what they are trying to convey. The only conspiring and scheming are on the part of the prosecutors, trying to convict innocent people, and they know it. They know people are innocent, they just want the win. I suppose only unethical attorneys make good federal attorneys. Too bad they cant play fair, too bad they don't get it.

      Delete
  12. Good luck to these 6 officers. You and your families are always in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lol.....Guilty friggin cops

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People wonder what reason the feds would have for not telling the truth, ask Michael Morton , a man from Texas that spent 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife, which he did not commit. The federal prosecutor in his case hid evidence that could have cleared this man, but he chose not to disclose the facts. The prosecutor went on to become a judge. Google Michael Morton and read his story,

      Delete
  14. I just came home from state rd. House correction. I hope them cops dont go there. Cause nobody like them in there. Hope alot of people get out of prison that dont belong there. But i dont wish to see cops go to jail either if they dont belong there cause its not fair. But im in g.e.d prison release training and i hope to go ti work soon at homedepot. I stayed in jail 9mos cause i stole from pathmark a few time...i was homeless then. I dont know if i can make it out here but i will try not to break more laws. The judge gave me a break so i want to do right. Like i said no one belongs in jail not even these cops but the the prison guards kept saying those 6 vops was already in jail.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This trial is proof that the federal justice system is broken. Federal prosecutors and the FBI use illegal and unethical tactics to grab headlines, pursue power and further their careers.





    ReplyDelete
  16. Federal prosecutors can do whatever they want to people and there are no repercussions or consequences to their actions. In this case, they have turned the plea bargain into an enemy of the truth, and there's outright misconduct, abetted by prosecutors more interested in compiling long lists of indictments than ensuring the fair treatment of all suspects.

    In this case, we have seen prosecution witness after prosecution witness step forward and commit perjury against these officers.

    Frightening and shocking.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Everyone reading bigtrial.net knows the truth about federal prosecutors, but not the rest of the region that gets their news from the mainstream media. The reporters hear the truth and see the truth ,but they don't print the truth. That is more shocking to me. The feds don't care if they get caught lying. They somehow will distort the story so they look like they saved the public and the media will be there to support them . Much of the media is just an extension of the federal prosecutors office, convicting defendants before they even get to trial . Politicians , Appointed Officials , Civic Leaders, should not comment on a persons guilt until there is a trial, don't give the feds an unfair advantage, its not your place to condemn others. " Unlimited Power and No Accountability".

    ReplyDelete
  18. Bye bye Tommy. Jail time for you and your gang brother!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. For those who have been on this site and have supported these Police Officers, I thank you for your constant words of encouragement. I pray the Jury does the right thing and finds these brave men not guilty so that they may return to their families whole. As James Binns said, they truly are Heroes. The actions of the prosecutors, FBI Agents and a Sergeant assigned to this case have shown themselves and their tactics to be dishonorable, despicable, cowardly and corrupt. I pray that some day they will be held accountable for their actions in persecuting these officers unjustifiably. There can be no excuse for their conduct and this case should place every decent man and woman in this country in fear of what our Federal Government and those WE pay through our tax dollars are capable of doing to innocent men and their families. This case has made a complete mockery of our justice system and because of it, many have and will lose faith in that system. To the prosecutors, FBI Agents and Sergeant involved in this case, you are guilty of horrendous unthinkable crimes in this case for which you know in your hearts is true. I cannot imagine what you must have been thinking during this entire so called investigation and process. Perhaps some day someone in your family will be persecuted and unjustly accused of crimes and have investigators as incompetent, immoral, unethical and corrupt as you all when they are investigated. This would not sit well with you I'm sure. You prosecutors, FBI Agents and Sergeant are all a disgrace to law enforcement and an embarrassment to yourselves, your families and your profession. Remember, in this life or the next, you will have to answer for what you have done to these innocent men. You will not get a pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree 100 percent! Well said!

      Delete
  20. Well said. This has been a farce of an investigation, trial, and Parade of "victims". Anyone who's not concerned about the power of the federal government should look at what this trial is about. There were accusations made, no corroboration of these accusations by the federal government, constant examples of shoddy (if any) investigational skills, inconsistencies in the "victims" testimonies ... It only took one time to catch scum bag walker. Of course he'd say whatever to lessen his period of incarceration. God willing the jury saw what every rational person sees. Not guilty.

    ReplyDelete

Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

 

Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog Copyright © 2016 BigTrial.net

Privacy Policy: BigTrial.net does not distribute, share or sell email addresses, or any other personal information received from this website.