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Central Va. Commonwealth's Attorneys Convene Multijurisdiction Grand Jury

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A push from a group of commonwealth's attorneys could make it easier for them to investigate people on a state level.

Federal grand juries have special powers to investigate certain types of crimes, but a state law is now being used by the prosecutors to create the Central Virginia Multijurisdiction Grand Jury with those special powers.

Typically, individual locality grand juries only have indicting powers.

This special grand jury encompasses Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison and Spotsylvania counties. The idea is to use this to promote cooperation and facilitate prosecution across boundary lines.

The Central Virginia Multijurisdiction Grand Jury has been empaneled, meaning members can get to work. It will have authority in a number of cases, ranging from murders to drug crimes, money laundering and more. It also has the power to obtain evidence and subpoena witnesses.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci says prosecutors aren't doing anything they weren't already allowed to do by state law. Rather, Tracci believes they are taking advantage of a law that's been on the books since 1983.

Tracci says the cost of the grand jury is covered by the Virginia Supreme Court and does not require any money from the county.

Release from Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Tracci:

Central Virginia Commonwealth's Attorneys representing Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, and Spotsylvania recently empaneled the Central Virginia Multijurisdiction Grand Jury to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of violations of Virginia law. Virginia Code § 19.2-215.1 provides authority to establish multijurisdiction grand juries, which are approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The Central Virginia Multijurisdiction Grand Jury will have authority to investigate a broad range of serious criminal offenses. These include: murder, rape, crimes against children, abduction, bribery, sex offenses, computer crimes, drug offenses, human trafficking, extortion, perjury, embezzlement, money laundering, Virginia RICO, obstruction of justice, robbery, arson, and other offenses.

Multijurisdiction grand juries promote the fact-finding process and promote multijurisdictional cooperation necessary to better investigate and prosecute crimes against our citizens. They also facilitate the investigation, indictment, and prosecution of criminal offenses across jurisdictional boundaries.

This the first multijurisdiction grand jury to be empaneled in Central Virginia.

We appreciate the counsel and support of the Office of Attorney General and Albemarle Clerk of Court in establishing this panel.

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