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Jury Deadlock in Trial of Lawyers Alleged to Serve Cali Cartel


November-December 1997

A Federal jury acquitted two lawyers for alleged members of Colombia's Cali cocaine cartel of a racketeering charge, and deadlocked on four other drug related charges (Associated Press, "Jury fails to convict 2 lawyers for Cali drug cartel," Washington Post, October 28, 1997, p. A2; Mireya Navarro, "2 former Federal officials acquitted in drug cartel case," New York Times, October 28, 1997, p. A20; "Cartel Lawyers Acquitted," USA Today, October 28, 1997, p. 3A; "Ex-attorneys of drug cartel may face retrial," Orange County Register, October 30, 1997, p. 6; "2 lawyers to be retried in drug-related case," New York Times, October 30, 1997, p. A26).

Michael Abbell, a lawyer based in Washington and a former Justice Department extradition chief, and William Moran, a former Federal prosecutor and a Florida criminal defense lawyer, were charged with aiding the Cali cartel by protecting cartel leaders from Federal prosecution and obstructing justice. After a five month trial and ten days of deliberation, the jury acquitted Abbell and Moran on the charges of racketeering, but said they were deadlocked on several other charges. Federal prosecutors have said that they planned to retry both men.