ENC Federal Prosecutors' Alleged Misconduct Reported To Justice Department

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A federal appeals court says it's noticing a pattern of federal prosecutors in eastern North Carolina failing to fully turn over evidence that defendants should know in advance of a trial.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says it's reporting its observations to the Justice Department's internal investigators.

The problem cases highlighted by the appeals court were prosecuted by attorneys under current U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker and predecessor George Holding, now a U.S. congressman from Raleigh. Both said Tuesday they trusted the work of the professionals they led, but that allegations of misconduct must be treated seriously.

The federal appeals court panel based in Richmond, Va., says judges are "repeatedly confronted" with charges that prosecutors in eastern North Carolina haven't turned over information as required.