Prosecution files motion to delay former Rocky Mount officers’ federal hearing on Capitol riot charges

They’re currently scheduled for a status hearing on April 27 at 10 a.m.

ROANOKE, Va. – Two former Rocky Mount police officers charged in connection with the Capitol riots will likely have to wait longer for their next day in court.

On Wednesday, the United States of America filed an 8-page unopposed motion for a 60-day continuance in its case against Thomas Robertson and Jacob Fracker.

The two men are charged with obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct in the Capitol.

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” wrote Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Channing Phillips in the motion submitted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi.

In the motion, the U.S. cited the following facts:

  • Over 300 individuals have been charged in connection with the Capitol Attack
  • Based on the continued investigation, at least 100 more people are likely to be charged
  • Defendants charged and under investigation come from across the United States, and a combined total of more than 900 search warrants have been executed in almost all 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Documents and evidence accumulated in the Capitol Attack investigation thus far include:
    • More than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage from multiple law enforcement agencies
    • About 1,600 electronic devices
    • Hundreds of searches of electronic communication providers
    • Over 210,000 tips, of which a substantial portion include video, photo and social media
    • Over 80,000 reports and 93,000 attachments related to law enforcement interviews of suspects and witnesses and other investigative steps

The motion explains how the government is working with the Federal Public Defender to develop, “a comprehensive plan for handling, tracking, processing, reviewing and producing discovery across the Capitol Attack cases.”

The government summed up its request to delay the trial as follows:

In sum, due to the number of individuals currently charged across the Capitol Attack investigation and the nature of those charges, the on-going investigation of many other individuals, the volume and nature of potentially discoverable materials, and the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation by all parties taking into account the exercise of due diligence, the failure to grant such a continuance in this proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of this proceeding impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice. Accordingly, the ends of justice served by granting a request for a continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendants a speedy trial.

Prior to filing the motion, the government notified counsel for the defendants and neither opposes the motion.

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