ATLANTA (CBS/AP) U.S. Senior Judge Jack T. Camp, who was arrested on charges that he bought and used drugs with a stripper, pleaded guilty Friday to two-drug related charges including a felony count of giving her cocaine, even though he knew she was a convicted felon.
Camp, 67, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a felon's possession of cocaine when he bought drugs for the stripper, who was secretly cooperating with authorities. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors: possession of illegal drugs and illegally giving the stripper his government-issued laptop.
When a judge asked Camp if the charges were accurate, he replied, "I regret ... I am embarrassed to say it is, your honor." Neither he nor his attorneys offered any explanation for his actions.
The charges against Camp, who is married with two grown children, were laid out in a shocking eight-page affidavit released days after his Oct. 1 arrest. 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 agreed not to charge her.
They also say Camp knew the stripper was a convicted felon because he asked a marshal to look up her criminal record, telling the officer he was renting a house to her. Prosecutors had to prove that Camp knew she was a felon to land the more serious felony charge.
Camp's arrest was a catastrophic downfall for the respected federal judge, a no-nonsense Vietnam War veteran who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987.
He handled hundreds of cases during his tenure, including the 2004 sentencing of two men accused of killing DeKalb County Sheriff Derwin Brown. And he supervised several cases while being investigated, including an April trial involving a pilot who was acquitted by a jury on charges of shipping cocaine for drug traffickers.
Camp could face up to four years in federal prison when he is sentenced March 4, but he is likely to get substantially less time. Federal sentencing guidelines recommend he serve four to 10 months in prison. As part of the plea deal, Camp also resigned from the bench and agreed to cooperate with authorities looking into any of the cases he handled while he was being investigated.
Camp's friend Jud Starr, a Washington attorney, said, "Judge Camp holds himself accountable for his personal actions and will strive to better understand and overcome the causes of his poor judgment."
More on Crimesider