Jury selection began today in the trial of former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia II.
Judge Whitlock began the proceedings in U.S. District Court in Boston this morning by stating the importance of safety and fairness for all involved during the current pandemic.
Whitlock also stated that the trial is expected to last three to four weeks once jury selection is complete.
The judge spoke to two separate batches of jurors. One in the morning and one in the early afternoon.
26 people, mainly court personnel, the prosecution and the defense, were allowed in the courtroom due to social distancing, however, the proceedings took place through a broadcast on Zoom. In addition to social distancing, masks must be worn in the courtroom.
Whitlock made it clear to the jury pool to base their decisions solely on what is represented in the court and not from outside sources.
The judge has scheduled the entire week for possible jury selection.
Correia is facing 24 federal counts of alleged fraud connected to the SnoOwl app in addition to allegedly taking bribes from marijuana vendors.
The trial was first scheduled to take place in May of 2020, but was pushed to September, then January of 2021 and then again to February due to COVID-19.
Opening statements are expected to begin on Monday.