|Mob boss Joseph Ligambi’s trial ended in a mistrial.|
From Philly.com: A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the trial of reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi, after jurors acquitted him on five counts but said they were hopelessly deadlocked on four others, including the key charge of racketeering conspiracy.
Three of Ligambi’s codefendants, including reputed underboss Joseph “Mousie” Massimino, were convicted of the racketeering conspiracy and could face substantial prison terms. But jurors found them and the others not guilty of 45 other counts, mostly extortion and loan-sharking counts. One defendant, Joseph “Scoops” Licata, was acquitted of the only charge against him and was to be freed immediately.
Ligambi’s lawyer called the verdicts “a victory” and a repudiation of a case he called overblown.
“It’s a failure for the government,” lawyer Edwin Jacobs Jr. said.
Prosecutors noted they won three major convictions and said they would consider retrying other defendants on the 11 charges that were undecided.
“It was an imporant case, and it needed to be brought,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fritchey, who heads the office’s organized crime unit.
Family members of the defendants gasped and cried as the verdicts were read in a 15th floor courtroom in the federal courthouse, on the 21st day of deliberations. Lawyers for Ligambi and others who had been jailed for more than 18 months said they would petition for them to be released on bail.
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing to consider the requests.
Ligambi, a 73-year-old known as “Uncle Joe,” was accused of leading a wide-ranging criminal enterprise that oversaw illegal bookmaking, loan-sharking and extortion across the region.
He has been jailed since being arrested in May 2011 with a dozen other alleged mobsters. The central charge, racketeering conspiracy, carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.