Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guns, drugs, and strippers: what could possibly go wrong with that combination?

Last month, ran an article about how the number of vacant judgeships on the federal bench was creating a crisis. As an aside, the Slate article missed the real crisis -- that you and I are not on the federal bench. The crisis Slate describes just got a little worse because Georgia lost a judge. As reported by the AP, Senior Judge Jack T. Camp, a 67-year-old who ought to know better, is in a lot of trouble because his adventures with cocaine, guns, and a stripper. Can we agree to call this particular combination of illegal activities a Camp-trick rather than a hat-trick?

Judge Camp, who is apparently married, began a relationship with a stripper earlier this year. The relationship began when we got a lap dance at the GoldRush Showbar. The dance so entranced the judge that he returned for more dances the next day. He then started paying her for sex and using cocaine with her. According to a sworn statement filed with the criminal complaint, the Judge would pay the stripper “$40 to $50” to get high with him.

In June, the judge, while carrying a semi-automatic handgun, and the stripper went to a house in Marietta Georgia to buy drugs. As watchers of “The Wire” know, bringing guns to drug buys is a good idea because you never know when Omar might show up.

It all fell apart for the judge on Friday. Shortly after telling the stripper that he would try to help her with her criminal record, the happy couple went a grocery store parking lot. In a show of gallantry, Judge Camp told his fair lady that "I not only have my little pistol, I've got my big pistol so, uh, we'll take care of any problems that come up." He then gave her $160 to buy drugs.

While he didn't know it, the judge had, at least, two problems. First, the stripper was working with the FBI. Second, the people they were buying drugs from were undercover agents. Ten minutes after buying what he thought was cocaine and roxicodone, the judge was arrested as he drove to a nearby night club. You will be pleased to note that the judge's comment about two pistols was not a creepy euphemism. When he was arrested, Judge Camp had two handguns in the car.

The case presents some logistical problems for the government. Prosecutors had to be flown in from Washington D.C.. and the local judges all recused themselves so a magistrate judge from Alabama had to conduct the bail hearing.

Interestingly, Judge Camp was known for being a tough judge on drug cases. Also, while his misadventures with the stripper were taking place he supervised the trial of a pilot charged with shipping cocaine for drug traffickers. The pilot was acquitted. This begs the question as to whether a judge who does illegal drugs shouldn't hear cases involving illegal drugs.

One of Judge Camp’s lawyers claims that the case is not about the judge being a judge. According to William Morrison, who tried several cases before the judge before becoming his attorney, said "it is not a case about judging. It's a case about judgment." If that is true, the judge has already lost.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to be the judge. At least it used to be.


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