Four Philadelphia men have been accused of stealing the world's largest mined ruby, which is valued at $2 million and carved in the shape of the Liberty Bell. Federal prosecutors claim the men were part of a theft ring that allegedly committed heists in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
A Pennsylvania federal prosecutor's office declined to say whether wiretaps or wired informants were used in the investigation of an ironworkers union in the Philadelphia area. Evidence gathered over the course of three years has been used to bring federal charges against 10 members of Ironworkers Local 401. Two of the accused individuals are business officials for the union.
Back in August, Attorney General Eric Holder repealed federal policy requiring that prosecutors pursue the maximum possible penalty for defendants accused of drug crimes. The new policy is aimed at protecting non-violent drug offenders from penalties that don't fit the crime.
Could an unsuspecting individual be tricked by sophisticated drug traffickers into transporting large sums of money across state lines? That was a claim in the defense of a man recently tried in federal court in Pittsburgh.
In many criminal cases, defendants end up facing federal charges after state and local authorities have conducted an investigation. If the state has filed charges, sometimes those charges are dropped as federal prosecutors take over the case and instead pursue a federal conviction.
In most cases, when federal prosecutors charge a person with conspiracy, the charge is brought in conjunction with other allegations, such as fraud or federal drug crimes. However, a person can still face serious penalties for a conspiracy conviction, even if prosecutors can't prove the other charges.
Back in October, two men were acquitted of federal charges after being accused of taking part in an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy that prosecutors claim was headed up by a Pennsylvania man. Since the acquittals, federal agents have taken additional steps in an effort to link co-defendants to the alleged conspiracy.
A 19-year-old East Liberty man had been charged with drug and weapons offenses, along with fleeing and eluding police. According to the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, he reacted by getting together with a friend and posting a rap video on YouTube which included lyrics threatening to kill Pittsburgh police officers and called out two Highland Park officers by name.
Readers in Pittsburgh have probably heard the case of the "cannibal cop," the police officer who was convicted recently of conspiring to kidnap, murder and consume four women, including the defendant's wife. The case was noteworthy because the prosecution's case largely consisted of Internet chats between the defendant and others online where they would discuss acts of cannibalism. In fact, the defendant never took significant steps to turn these chats, which some characterize as online role-playing, into a real-world attack on any of the women.
A New York-based investment banker for Wells Fargo Securities and nine others have been civilly charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with insider trading, after it was allegedly discovered that he was passing confidential information to a "phone tree" of his friends and their friends.