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Federal judge accused of buying drugs from stripper

Image: Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp
U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp, seen in this 2008 photo, is expected to take a leave of absence, his attorney says.Zachary D. Porter / AP
/ Source: NBC, msnbc.com and news services

A long-time federal judge is facing drug and firearms charges after a stripper-turned-informant  told authorities he used cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs with her.

U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr. of the Northern District of Georgia was arrested Friday night near Sandy Springs, about 15 miles north of Atlanta.

He was arraigned Monday before Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody from Alabama and released on a $50,000 bond, the Justice Department said.

A Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington said the agency had no further comment on the case.

Bill Morrison, his lead attorney, declined to discuss the specifics of the case, which he portrayed it as a matter a private breach of integrity rather than as a public one by a long-term public official, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“It’s not about Judge Camp being a judge. It is about Judge Camp being a husband and whether he has fulfilled those duties,” Morrison was quoted as saying by Journal-Constitution. “This is not a case about judging. ... It is a case about judgment.” Camp will probably take a leave of absence, The Associated Press quoted his attorney as saying.

Read the criminal complaint against the judge (PDF)

Camp, 67, could not be reached for comment Monday. A call to his office was not immediately returned.

Camp is charged with buying and possessing cocaine, marijuana and Roxycodone, a narcotic pain reliever. According to an FBI affidavit, Camp purchased the drugs from an exotic dancer he met at the Goldrush Showbar, an Atlanta strip club.

He also faces a weapons charge in connection with two illegal firearms found in his car, according to the complaint.

According to court documents, the events unfolded this way:

Camp got to know the dancer, identified as CI-1, after he purchased a private dance from her last spring. He returned the next night and purchased another dance and sex from her.

The stripper and Camp began discussing drugs, and the judge paid her $40-$50 for some cocaine.

Several times after that, the two would meet to use drugs together, generally purchased with Camp's money.

"When Camp and CI-1 would use drugs together, they would ingest both the cocaine and the Roxycodone by snorting it through their noses and they would ingest the marijuana by smoking it," according to an FBI affidavit. "In order to snort the Roxycodone, Camp and CI-1 would use a pill crusher to create a powdered form of the Roxycodone. In fact, Camp gave CI-1 a pill crusher for CI-1's use."

The court documents say the stripper, who has a history of prostitution and drug use, recently began cooperating with authorities, and soon their phone conversations were surreptitiously recorded. Federal authorities have promised her that she will not be prosecuted for any crimes related to the case.

Northern District of Georgia Chief Judge Julie E. Carnes said in a statement that another judge from outside the 11th Circuit would soon be appointed to preside over all proceedings related to Camp's case. "Our court will not be participating in any way in the adjudication of this case,” the statement said, according to atlawblog.com.

Camp joined the court in 1988 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. He attended the Citadel and University of Virginia law school.