Miami Fed Juror Charged With Soliciting Bribe During Trial

By Danny Fenster

Italo Campagna was serving as a juror in Miami an ongoing federal criminal trial when he slipped the defendant’s father a piece of paper outside the courthouse with a telephone number on it.

Later that afternoon, Campagna, 55,  met with the defendant’s brother, who had contacted him, and arranged to meet in Miami Beach to discuss the case.

In charges announced last week by the FBI, authorities alleged that Campagna offered the defendant’s brother his ability to persuade jurors to vote not guilty in exchange for a  payment between  $50,000 and $100,000.

The brother notified FBI agents and began working with the agency.

He called Campagna back, asking if he was still interested, all the while recording the phone call. Campagna said he was still interested, and they arranged a date and time to discuss a final price. They met later that day, where the brother was able to get Campagna to confirm the details of the trade, and to settle on $20,000. They walked back to the brother’s car, where he handed over what appeared to be a bundle of cash in a brown bag to Campagna, who was then arrested.

“The credibility and public confidence in our criminal justice system hinge on the integrity of individuals serving as jurors. If that integrity is compromised, then so are our efforts to bring criminals to justice,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo A. Ferrer in a statement. “This case should serve as a stern reminder of the consequences that follow a breach of a juror’s sworn duty to follow the law.”

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