Feeding Our Future juror bribe attempt unheard of in MN, ex-judge compares to Jimmy Hoffa trial

Two jurors have been dismissed in the Feeding our Future federal trial following an "unprecedented" bribe attempt, something a former Hennepin County judge said he’s never heard of happening in Minnesota before and has even compared it to the Jimmy Hoffa trial.

The federal trial in Minneapolis took an unexpected twist on Monday after a 23-year-old juror was dismissed. The juror reported someone dropped a bag of $120,000 in cash at her home in an attempted bribe for a not-guilty verdict. 

"I’ve never heard of an instance of an attempted bribe of a juror in Minnesota," former Hennepin County Chief Judge Kevin Burke told FOX 9. 

A 25-year-old juror was also dismissed on Tuesday after learning of the bribe through a family member. The remaining jurors were immediately sequestered to prevent further attempts or any prejudicial influence. The bag of cash was taken into evidence, and a federal investigation is underway for attempted bribery and jury tampering. 

"This situation never arose in any of my jury trials, nor did I hear of anything similar from my colleagues," added Judge Jeremy Fogel, former director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington D.C.

The seven defendants, collectively accused of stealing nearly $50 million in federal money, were taken into custody and booked since only they and their lawyers would know the jurors' identities.

While bribing a juror is by no means common, Judge Burke said there are famous examples of such bribery occurring. He explained that in March 1964 Jimmy Hoffa, who served as president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters labor union, was convicted of jury tampering and sentenced to eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

"But attempted bribery of a juror does not even happen rarely," added Burke.

Jury deliberations are underway as of Wednesday, and a verdict has yet to be reached.