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U.S. v. Matthew D. Thomas: Docket 19-MJ-30509

In an effort to assist those individuals who have been affected by this case, this webpage has been developed to provide court and case related information. This does not replace written notification to those identified as victims of the charged offenses (which currently include distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography), it simply provides an additional resource from which to obtain information.

Please note that all court hearings will take place in United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.   Please refer to the individual posting for judge assignment and courtroom number.  If you plan on attending any of the court proceedings, photo identification is required.  Cell phones, electronic devices and weapons of any kind, are not permitted.   Please pardon our appearance, the courthouse is currently undergoing renovations.  



12/17/2019 - The Court scheduled a Final Pretrial Conference for May 5, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  A Trial has been tentatively scheduled to begin on May 26, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. 

Please Note: This matter has been reassigned to Judge Nancy Edmunds, therefore, all hearings will take place in Courtroom 811, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.

If you plan on attending the court hearings, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage, to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the lat minute.  Cell phones and other electronic devicees are not permitted in the courthouse.


12/11/2019 - The Court has re-sceduled the Pretrial Conference.   The hearing will now take place on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.   Please be advised that this case has been reassigned to Judge Nancy Edmunds, Courtroom 811, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage, to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the lat minute.  Cell phones and other electronic devicees are not permitted in the courthouse.


12/9/2019 - The Court cancelled the Pretrial Conference which had been scheduled for December 11, 2019.   A new date has not yet been scheduled but will be posted to this web page as soon as a date is provided by the Court. 


10/5/2019 - The Court cancelled the Pretrial Conference scheduled for November 6, 2019, 11:30 a.m.  The hearing has been rescheduled for December 11, 2019, 11:00 a.m. before the Honorable Avern Cohn, Courtroom 225, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the last minute.  Cell phones and other electonic devices are not permitted in the courthouse.    


10/22/2019 - PLEASE NOTE: There has been a time change for the scheduled Pretrial Conference on November 6, 2019.   This is a TIME CHANGE only.  This hearing will now take place at 11:30 a.m. on November 6, 2019


10/16/2019 – The Court scheduled a Pretrial Conference for November 6, 2019, 10:30 a.m. before the Honorable Avern Cohn, Courtroom 225, United States District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226.   PLEASE NOTE:  If you plan on attending the Pretrial Conference hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753), or refer to this webpage to confirm the date and time.  It is not uncommon for hearing dates to change, and on occasion, the changes may be made at the last minute. 


10/11/2019 - On October 8, 2019 a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Mathew D. Thomas with two counts of production of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.   With the return of the indictment, the preliminary exam is no longer necessary and has been cancelled.  Please note that the indictment is only an accusation.   The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.   

Defendant Thomas was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub on October 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.   At that hearing, the defendant received a copy of the charges, a plea of "not guilty" was entered by the Court on his behalf, and detention was continued.   The next step in the criminal justice process will be the scheduling of a trial date.  The assigned United States District Court Judge,  the Honorable Avern Cohn, will schedule this date.   Updates, to include scheduled court hearings, will be posted to this website as soon as they become available.   

For a copy of the Indictment, please click HERE.


10/7/2019 –  Matthew D. Thomas consented to detention, reserving his right to raise the issue of bond at a later date if he desires.  The defendant will remain in jail under the custody of the US Marshal Service.   A Preliminary Exam was scheduled by the court to take place on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.   Preliminary Exams are rarely held in federal court.   For this reason, it is recommended that you contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator (313-226-9633) or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist (313-226-9753) to confirm the date and time.   

Updates to court hearings along with other case related information will be posted to this webpage as information becomes available. 


10/4/19 -  Matthew David Thomas was arrested and charged with production of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography.    He appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Steven R. Whalen and was given a bond.   The government requested a stay of the defendant’s release and has appealed this decision to District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy, seeking to have the defendant detained during the pendency of this case.   A detention hearing is currently scheduled for Monday, October 7, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Murphy, in U.S. District Court, 231 W. Lafayette, Courtroom 228, Detroit, MI 48226.  Thomas will remain detained until Judge Murphy holds the detention hearing on Monday. 

While charges have been filed against this defendant, this matter continues to be investigated.   Victims identified during the initial investigation have been contacted by the FBI and/or Victim Services for the United States Attorney’s Office.   The FBI is in the process of reviewing Thomas’ electronic devices.  Should further victims be identified, personal notification will be made by FBI Special Agents assigned to this case.

Parents of children who attended Lenawee Christian School  who would like additional information, should call Nicole McGee at 313-426-3879 or contact the FBI by email at nmcgee@fbi.gov or the U.S. Attorney’s Office at usamie.victimservices@usdoj.gov.   Parents, please identify your name and contact information in your request.  A response to your inquiry, via telephone call and/or e-mail will be returned to you as quickly as possible. 

Please check this webpage for additional updates on future court dates in this case.

Updated December 19, 2019

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