Camp pleads guilty to drug and conversion charges
Senior U.S. District Judge and Coweta County resident Jack T. Camp Jr. pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to possession of controlled substances and conversion of government property. He will be sentenced on March 4.
Camp, 67, a Senior U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Georgia, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of controlled substances and one count of conversion of government property, according to Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. Camp’s guilty plea was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Hogan for the District of Columbia, who was sitting by designation in the Northern District of Georgia, Breuer said.
Breuer said that as part of his guilty plea, Camp admitted that between May 2010 and Oct. 1, 2010, he unlawfully possessed and used cocaine, marijuana and Roxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Camp also admitted to giving an individual, whom he knew had a prior felony drug conviction, money to purchase cocaine, Roxycodone and marijuana. Camp admitted that he unlawfully gave the individual a U.S. District Court laptop computer for her personal use.
Camp was arrested on Oct. 1, 2010, after attempting to purchase drugs from an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer, Breuer said.
Breuer said the case is being prosecuted by trial attorneys Deborah Sue Mayer and Tracee Joy Plowell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI Atlanta’s Public Corruption Squad. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation provided substantial assistance in this case.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Mar. 4, 2011.
A complaint filed last month in U.S. District Court Monday had Camp charged with a variety of criminal acts, including the possession and use of illegal drugs purchased from a stripper at Atlanta’s Goldrush Showbar and carrying weapons during a drug transaction.
The affadavit by Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Mary Jo Mangrum was filed in October in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia where Camp had presided for more than two decades.
According to Mangrum’s affidavit in the complaint, Camp had been involved since the spring with drug purchases and drug use in connection with a stripper at an Atlanta club. Camp was also charged with having a loaded, chambered handgun in his vehicle after the drug transaction on Oct. 1 when he was arrested by FBI agents.
The series of events involving Camp began in the spring when he met an FBI confidential informant (CI) who worked as an exotic dancer at the Goldrush Showbar on Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta. Camp initially purchased a private lap dance from the informant. Camp returned to the club the next day, when he purchased another private lap dance and paid the CI for sex, the complaint said. Camp that day also asked the CI what she was “on.” The CI, a convicted drug felon, told Camp she had used cocaine and Camp asked if she had any more he could ingest, the affidavit said. Camp was provided with a quantity of cocaine for which he paid $40-50 in cash. Both Camp and the CI snorted the cocaine, according to the complaint.
The association between Camp and the CI continued through the spring and summer. Camp met the CI on multiple occasions where they would use cocaine, the pain-killer Roxycodone and marijuana and where Camp would pay the CI for sex, the complaint said, adding that Camp would furnish the money for the CI to purchase the drugs. Camp and the CI would use a pill crusher to turn the Roxycodone into a powder for snorting. Camp provided the pill crusher, the complaint said.
After a transaction in June to purchase Roxycodone in Marietta and during which Camp had followed the CI without her knowledge, the CI approached Camp’s vehicle after the transaction and observed a small, black metal, semiautomatic handgun on the front seat. Camp told the CI that he had the gun out to protect her.
The affidavit said Camp’s involvement with the CI continued into September. They met at Follies strip club on Buford Highway where the CI worked occasionally as an exotic dancer. On one occasion they snorted cocaine obtained by the CI from an individual listed in the complaint as “Person A,” someone known to the CI. After the transaction and as Camp and the CI were leaving the club and sitting in a vehicle, Camp indicated that he was unhappy about the way Person A treated the CI.
“Camp had a firearm on his lap when he was expressing his displeasure about the situation,” according to the complaint. The CI asked Camp not to get out of the vehicle after he opened the car door.
And on Sept. 28 during a recorded telephone conversation Camp and the CI discussed “getting together” over the upcoming weekend and discussed obtaining cocaine and Roxycodone, according to the affidavit.
“In deciding the type and quantity of drugs to purchase, Camp stated ‘I think I’d rather have the, what are they, Roxis, uh, but I don’t mind sending a little extra if you want to get a little of the other too.’ When asked if ‘the other’ meant cocaine Camp said yes,” according to the complaint, adding that Camp ultimately decided that the CI should purchase 16 Roxycodone pills because “that’s an even number we can split.”
“Jack Camp” subsequently wired $290 to the CI through Western Union, the complaint noted.
Things came to a head on Oct. 1. The complaint states that at approximately 3 p.m. in a recorded telephone conversation Camp and the CI discussed her felony conviction that was preventing a potential employer from hiring her.
“Camp and the CI discussed the fact that Camp had previously said he would try to help (the) CI with the criminal record. At one point, Camp told the CI that (she) should tell the potential employer that ‘it was a minor offense and that one of the judges on the court can explain that to him. And that it does not indicate that you were really dealing drugs, you just made some phone calls,’” said the complaint.
It was during the same conversation that the two discussed one of the CI’s friends spending some time with them, with Camp noting that he needed to be careful using drugs in front of someone he did not know since his situation was more precarious.
“Specifically, Camp stated that he would like to meet and get to know the CI’s friend and ‘make sure that I feel I can trust her before we go the whole monty with it.’ When asked what he meant by the ‘whole monty,’ Camp said that he meant using ‘drugs,’” according to the complaint.
At approximately 5:45 p.m. that day in another recorded telephone conversation the CI said she had been unable to get the drugs with the money Camp sent her. The CI said she had given the money to another person but had not received the Roxycodone. The CI indicated that the drugs could be purchased from another person and asked Camp if he would be willing to follow her as he had done before because she was afraid for her safety.
“I’ll watch your back anytime ‘cause I’m afraid and 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,” Camp said, according to the complaint. Camp then said he thought it “might be fun” to have the CI’s friend spend time with them.
At approximately 7:15 p.m. that day Camp and the CI met in the Publix grocery store parking lot on Shallowford Road in Atlanta. Unknown to Camp was the fact that his life would take a dramatic turn just 30 minutes later.
The two again discussed the upcoming drug transaction. At one point the CI asked if he brought “protection” since she did not know the drug dealer very well. Camp responded, “Yes, feel right here” and the CI felt the gun in Camp’s front pants pocket. Then Camp said, “Let me let you pay him because you’ve already got a record, I don’t.”
Camp then took $400 from a nearby ATM machine and gave the CI $160 to purchase the drugs. The two then drove separate cars to the Velvet Room on Chamblee Tucker Road.
At 7:35 p.m. Camp and the CI in a recorded meeting met with an undercover agent gave the agent $160 to purchase Roxycodone and cocaine. They were given a bag containing blue pills and another containing a white, powered substance. Camp put the bags in his pocket, the complaint said.
Ten minutes later, at 7:45 p.m. Camp was arrested by FBI agents. Asked if he had any weapons, Camp initially said he did, then said he did not. Agents recovered a .380 Sig Sauer and a Colt MK IV from the front seat of Camp’s vehicle.
“The Sig Sauer had a loaded magazine, and a round seated in the chamber and the hammer of the gun was cocked. The Colt had a loaded magazine but no round in the chamber,” the complaint said.
Camp was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, according to news sources.
Mangrum in the affidavit said that because the purpose of the complaint was to state only probable cause for the arrest, she had not described all the relevant fact and circumstances of the case.
A senior judge in the Northern District of Georgia for more than two decades, Camp was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.