The Greene County Commissioner of Revenue has requested another trial continuance due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a motion filed in federal court Sept. 2. Larry Vernon Snow, 71, is facing charges relating to identity theft and conspiracy to commit fraud.
He is asking the trial for himself and his son, Bryant Austin Snow, be moved from Oct. 19-22 to spring 2021, due to health concerns from the pandemic.
The elder Snow’s doctor, Dr. John McGovern, submitted a letter to the court requesting the trial be delayed “until the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed dramatically or resolved.” He said Snow’s underlying health issues make it “unsafe for Larry to be in an indoor space/confined space with others.”
Bonnie J. Lepold, Snow’s attorney, argues in her motion that courts are still in Phase I under the Western District of Virginia Reopening Guidelines, issued June 4, noting that unless it’s an extraordinary circumstance, trials should not occur.
“There is no extraordinary circumstance that requires the conduct of this trial in mid-October 2020,” Lepold’s motion states.
In the motion, she said the government had no objections to the continuance. Neither U.S. attorney assigned to the case responded to a request for comment. The judge had not made a decision by press time, nor had the government filed a brief in opposition or support.
A federal grand jury handed down a 15-page superseding indictment on June 24 for both Snows that included additional counts for each.
The elder Snow is facing four counts: one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft; two counts of unlawful transfer, possession and use of means of identification; and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The younger Snow faces the same four charges, as well as one count of distribution of a controlled substance. He is represented by federal public defender Erin Margaret Trodden.
This is the first time since the superseding indictment was filed on June 24 that there has been a motion to continue. If granted, it will be the fourth time since first indictment by the federal government on Oct. 23, 2019, that the trial date has moved.
Both men have pleaded not guilty.
In the superseding indictment, U.S. Attorney Kathryn Anne Rumsey lays out the alleged conspiracy leading back to April 2018 when Rumsey says the Snows “conspired to retaliate against and tamper with Person A, a witness and informant who had participated in controlled purchases of heroin and methamphetamine for both federal and state law enforcement.”
The witness’ name is being withheld in a sealed indictment and is identified as Person A throughout the public indictment.
At that time Bryant Snow was facing two counts of distribution of a controlled substance in Greene County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty on April 20 to methamphetamine distribution in a plea deal. He is serving time at Central Virginia Regional Jail (CVRJ) in Orange County for a probation violation and one year of a 13-year sentence after pleading guilty to the distribution charge; the other 12 years were suspended.
The indictment further alleges that Larry Snow used his access as an elected official to a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles system to “obtain the names and other means of identification of Person A and Person A’s mother and Larry mailed DMV printouts with those means of identification to Bryant at (CVRJ).”
Rumsey alleges in the indictment that during a phone call between the Snows on or about April 18, 2018, the Snows discussed “retaliation against Person A for acting as a confidential informant.”
“(Person A’s) gonna get his, I promise you that,” Larry Snow allegedly said in the recorded jail conversation.
On that phone call, Bryant Snow asked for five copies of the DMV printouts, the indictment said, which Larry Snow allegedly mailed April 27, 2018 to his son in jail.
Larry Snow was re-elected as Greene’s Commissioner of Revenue in the Nov. 5, 2019, general election; he was the only one on the ballot. A challenger, Peggy Ganoe, withdrew from the race prior to Election Day. Snow received 4,263 votes, Ganoe received 1,351 votes, despite dropping her campaign, and there were 99 write-in votes. Snow was first elected to the position in 1987.