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Jury still deliberating in federal trial against Ravenell, Treem

Jurors deliberated for about seven hours Monday without returning a verdict in the federal trial against prominent Baltimore defense attorneys Kenneth W. Ravenell and Joshua R. Treem.

It was the second day of deliberations for the jury, which heard closing arguments last week and broke for the holidays late Thursday.

UPDATE: Ravenell guilty of money laundering in split decision; Treem acquitted

Ravenell faces a series of charges related to his alleged involvement in a major marijuana trafficking operation run by a former criminal defense client, Richard Byrd. The government accused Ravenell of receiving millions of dollars in drug proceeds from Byrd in exchange for offering advice on how to evade law enforcement and laundering drug money.

Treem, who initially represented Ravenell while he was under federal investigation, faces obstruction of justice charges, as does Sean F. Gordon, a private defense investigator who had worked with Ravenell.

The two men are accused of interviewing Byrd, who began cooperating with the government against Ravenell, with the goal of getting him to sign off on a series of false exculpatory statements about Ravenell.

Byrd recorded the 2017 meeting at the request of federal investigators, who also accused Treem of excluding key information about the meeting in two documents he prepared later.

Treem and Gordon’s lawyers argued that they were aggressively pursuing a defense for Ravenell but did not break the law. Ravenell’s defense team claimed that Byrd, the government’s key witness, is lying about Ravenell’s involvement in the drug ring to win a reduction in his 26-year federal prison sentence.

The jurors did not ask any questions Monday. On Thursday, jurors asked why James Warwick, an assistant U.S. attorney who was heavily involved in the investigation into Ravenell and Treem, did not testify at the trial. Warwick is not prosecuting the case.

Warwick approached several of the convicted drug traffickers and other witnesses who ultimately testified against Ravenell at trial, according to testimony in the case, and offered them sentence reductions or immunity.

In response to their question, the jurors were referred back to the testimony that is in evidence. The government did not make Warwick available to testify at the trial, according to information shared in court on Thursday.