ATLANTA — A veteran federal judge who was arrested after authorities said he tried to buy cocaine and other drugs to use with a stripper is expected to plead guilty Friday in Atlanta to some of the charges he faces.
Senior Judge Jack T. Camp, who was arrested in October, plans to plead guilty to some of the charges at a hearing Friday in U.S. District Court, said his attorney Bill Morrison. The attorney declined to disclose which of the charges Camp will plead guilty to, saying the judge overseeing the case hadn’t yet formally approved the deal.
“We are not taking any public positions because the judge hasn’t signed off on the agreement, but he does plan to plead guilty,” said Morrison, who also would not say whether Camp will step down. “A mutually beneficial agreement was reached.”
The charges against Camp, a 67-year-old who is married with two grown children, were laid out in a shocking eight-page affidavit released days after his Oct. 1 arrest. The judge, who is free on a $50,000 bond, faces four drug-related charges and one count of possessing firearms while illegally using drugs.
Authorities say a stripper, who previously had a felony drug trafficking conviction, had been secretly working with the FBI since the spring to build a case against the judge. In exchange, prosecutors vowed not to charge her.
Camp’s relationship with the dancer, who was only identified as CI-1 in the documents, appears to have begun earlier this year when he received a lap dance from her at an Atlanta strip club, according to the affidavit. Authorities say he returned to the Goldrush Showbar for more dances the next day – and added sex and cocaine to his tab.
Over the next few months, the two used cocaine and other drugs together – sometimes at the strip club – and the judge would pay $40 to $50 to join her in getting high, according to the documents.
Things took a twist in June when the judge followed the stripper to a house in suburban Atlanta to buy drugs, authorities say. He had a semiautomatic handgun with him that he later told he brought with him to protect her, the affidavit said.
The relationship unraveled in October. First, Camp told the stripper he would try to help with her criminal record and advised her to tell a potential employer that “it was a minor offense and that one of the judges on the court can explain that to him,” according to the affidavit.
A few hours later, the dancer asked Camp to follow her to a grocery store parking lot to meet a drug dealer, and Camp then gave the stripper $160 to buy the drugs from an undercover officer.
Within 10 minutes, FBI agents swarmed the judge’s car when he drove to a nearby night club. They recovered the plastic bag containing blue pills and a white substance, along with two guns from his front seat.
The case created a mess in the busy Northern District of Georgia circuit, which covers metro Atlanta. Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan from the District of Columbia, was assigned the case because the other judges recused themselves, and prosecutors from the Justice Department’s central office are handling the case.
It’s unclear whether any of the decisions Camp made while he was being investigated will be revisited, but several attorneys have filed appeals or signaled they would do so.
Camp’s attorney, meanwhile, said the judge looks forward to moving on after Friday’s plea.
“He’s holding up well,” said Morrison. “It’s a stressful situation, but all things considered he’s doing OK and making progress.”