As Gino DiMatteo entered the Department 7 courtroom during a recess at about 2 p.m. Friday, a District Attorney’s investigator told him they had to talk, took his arm and shuffled him over to a corner of the courtroom between the audience seats and the bar. He then asked DiMatteo to put his arms behind his back, as he was being arrested on a federal warrant.
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DiMatteo had originally shown up for what was supposed to be a continuation of a contested hearing with testimony from William Wilkins, a former employer of Dimatteo. Instead, he was arrested on federal charges which have not yet been disclosed.
“In a cooperative effort between the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and federal authorities, DiMatteo was arrested today on a federal arrest warrant in Placerville,” read a press release from the DA’s office, released about a half-hour after the arrest itself. “Due to the more severe penalties available under federal sentencing statues, the District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss the state charges against DiMateo in lieu of federal prosecute so that his criminal actives may be more appropriately dealt with in federal court.”
When the hearing did start, deputy district attorney James Clinchard told Judge Douglas C. Phimister that the the prosecution was moving to dismiss the charges due to the arrest warrant. Phimister allowed the dismissal, but said that the court was still in possession of DiMatteo’s passport, something the court did not want to hold on to. Robert Woelful, DiMatteo’s attorney, said that there were multiple items as a result of the arrest that he was requesting to be returned to the family, and that he would take the passport when it was convenient for the court to deliver it to him.
After the hearing, Clinchard said that he was unable to provide any further comment and could not talk about the federal charges.