NYC Lawyer Convicted Of Trying To Silence Witnesses

A high-profile New York City attorney has been convicted of charges he plotted to silence witnesses in a drug-trafficking case.

A federal jury in Brooklyn deliberated nearly a week before finding Robert Simels guilty Thursday.

Jurors had heard secretly recorded tapes in which Simels mused about needing to "eliminate" or "neutralize" key government witnesses in the drug case against his client, a wealthy businessman from Guyana.

Simels took the stand to insist he wasn't talking about using violence. He said he just wanted information to discredit the witnesses in front of a jury.

The 62-year-old lawyer is a fixture in New York courthouses. His clients have included drug lords, professional athletes and mobster Henry Hill, whose exploits were the basis of the film "Goodfellas."


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