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October 5, 2010

"Federal judge charged with buying drugs from stripper"

The title of this post is the headline of this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article reporting on a remarkable new federal criminal case.  Here are some of the stunning details:

A longtime federal judge was freed on a $50,000 bond Monday after his arrest on federal charges that he bought cocaine and other illegal drugs while involved in a sexual relationship with an exotic dancer for the past several months.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr. was arrested late Friday night near Sandy Springs. Camp, 67, is accused of purchasing cocaine and marijuana, along with prescription painkillers that which he shared with an exotic dancer he met last spring at the Goldrush Showbar in Atlanta, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit for his arrest.

Camp met the dancer, identified in the affidavit as CI-1, when he purchased a private dance from her, according to the affidavit by Special Agent Mary Jo Mangrum, a member of a task force investigating public corruption. He returned the next night and purchased another dance and sex from her, the affidavit said. The two then began a relationship which revolved around drug use and sex.

In some cases he bought drugs from the dancer, while in others the pair purchased them from other parties, according to the affidavit. Camp sometimes took loaded guns to the deals. Camp’s arrest came after a buy from an undercover agent, authorities said....

U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman Patrick Crosby referred questions to the Justice Department in Washington, saying the Atlanta office has been recused. Washington federal prosecutors Deborah Mayer and Tracee Plowell declined to comment after the brief bond hearing.

Camp, a Vietnam veteran appointed to the bench by President Reagan, presided over cases in U.S. District Court in Atlanta for more than 20 years and was the chief judge before retiring last year and taking senior status, which essentially is a former of semi-retirement in which he still handles cases.

Atlanta defense attorney Jack Martin said Camp was a well-read man who sometimes quoted Shakespeare from the bench. “It’s almost like a Shakespearean tragedy,” Martin said of Camp’s arrest....

As a judge, Camp had a reputation as a tough sentencer. In 2009, he sentenced former doctor Phil Astin to 10 years in prison. Astin had prescribed drugs to Chris Benoit, the professional wrestler who killed his wife, son and then himself in 2007. Camp said that the good works performed by the doctor were outweighed by his indiscriminate prescribing of drugs that caused at least two other people to die from overdoses.

Last year, Camp rejected a plea deal of an indicted pharmaceutical executive, saying the proposed 37-month prison sentence did not “accurately reflects the seriousness of the conduct.” Jared Wheat had earlier pleaded guilty to charges in connection with illegal importation of knockoff prescription drugs from Central America. Wheat later was given a 50-month sentence.

Camp’s relationship with the stripper, who had a federal conviction related to a drug trafficking case, began last spring, according to the affidavit. The two would meet when Camp paid her for sex, and they would smoke marijuana and snort cocaine and take the painkiller Roxicodone together. Camp usually gave the stripper money to buy the drugs although sometimes she provided them on her own, the affidavit said. She secretly recorded Camp discussing the drug transactions.

October 5, 2010 at 12:31 AM | Permalink


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Doing OK for 67. This is lawyer hierarchy gotcha of a patriotic American. Biggest crime? Being appointed by the Reagan administration, and still occupying a bench under the current left wing oppressor.

I strongly urge the judge to fight back. Start with total e-discovery of all government thug computers. Refer all child porn on there to the FBI. We are looking for an improper motive. Do the same for the vile, biased, America hater lawyer on the bench. We are looking for political animus in his case.

If anyone wonders about the admissibility of the secret, unauthorized recordings, here is the Supreme Court, "[n]either this Court nor any member of it has ever expressed the view that the Fourth Amendment protects a wrongdoer's misplaced belief that a person to whom he voluntarily confides his wrongdoing will not reveal it." 87 S.Ct. at 413.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 5, 2010 1:51:47 AM

Is there a 924(c) charge? Based on the description of the charges in the articles I've read, it doesn't sound like it. But there should be. And if there isn't, then he's getting special treatment.

He took his guns to the drug deal for protection: "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," the judge said while speaking about the deal, according to the affidavit. That is a CLASSIC 924(c) "possession" "in furtherance of" situation.

If the allegations are true, then it sounds like this judge, who found it so easy to criticize others for their transgressions while sentencing defendants that appeared before him, may not be as righteous as he wanted us to think. I have no sympathy for such hypocrisy.

If he's guilty, there should be no sentencing leniency and he should get, at minimum, a mandatory 5-years under 924(c).

Posted by: anonomous lawyer | Oct 5, 2010 2:27:08 AM

I am so glad that our Federal government is protecting us from the danger Judge Camp presents to public safety. We’ll all sleep sounder, knowing that he is off the streets.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Oct 5, 2010 11:38:11 AM

I agree with anonymous lawyer. The hypocrisy here is staggering. Judge Camp should absolutely be charged with 924(c) as well as with drug charges. He's every bit as much a danger as are my clients, who regularly get put away for long periods for identical conduct (although without the hypocrisy, and generally without the prostitution angle).

Posted by: defense lawyer | Oct 5, 2010 1:06:56 PM

Give a taste of the friendly fair guideline sentenceing that he dished out for 20 yrs and enjoyed doing it, it sounds like.

Your honor deserves the high end of the range, as he is so very familiar with the consequnces and chose to ignore...Not much character in the man either, paying a prostitute and having her bring the drugs and carrying a gun...Sounds like a THUG to me...Cerrainly no respect for women ....

Posted by: Abe | Oct 5, 2010 2:02:45 PM

Nonjudgmentalism, nonjudgmentalism, wherefore art thou?

Answer: Reserved only for your standard mugger, not for this creep.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 5, 2010 3:03:47 PM

Who's being nonjudgmental? I judge standard muggers and I judge hypocritical drug and gun-toting jurists. Once again, Bill, you're knocking down a straw man.

Posted by: defense lawyer | Oct 5, 2010 3:38:48 PM

Uh, except we don't know if there's been any hypocrisy because no one knows what he's actually been charged with.

Posted by: Jay | Oct 5, 2010 5:11:45 PM

you can find out what he's been charged with in the complaint through a link in this article


and here's the complaint:


Posted by: Rel | Oct 5, 2010 5:18:08 PM

defense lawyer --

If you think nonjudgmentalism is unknown to the defense bar, you have problems beyond my capacity to fix. Whether you in particular are into it or not is something I don't know. Of course my post wasn't addressed to you, now was it?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 5, 2010 5:22:37 PM

If anything, it would seem to me he's being hit harder, assuming he bought user amounts, which seems likely and generally wouldn't lead to a federal indictment. Is becoming a sex-addled, prostitute-purchasing drug-user an act of corruption? I tend to think of corruption as accepting payment or kickbacks or bribes. You'd think there'd have to be more to this story to prove corruption than has come out yet.

Maybe it will with indictment. The indictment could add a 924(c) too. But as it stands now, I wouldn't say he's being treated leniently.

Posted by: Bill B. | Oct 5, 2010 5:52:49 PM

"Judge Camp should absolutely be charged with 924(c) as well as with drug charges. He's every bit as much a danger as are my clients, who regularly get put away for long periods for identical conduct (although without the hypocrisy, and generally without the prostitution angle)."

Really? What district are you in? It's hard to imagine a non-conspiracy case in which someone would be charged federally at all for bringing a gun to a minor drug deal, much less charged with 924(c). If he wasn't a judge, this case has about a .1% chance of even being federal in the first place. So I'm not sure how much "special treatment" he's getting.

Posted by: DM | Oct 5, 2010 7:14:29 PM

Bill B. --

It's true that he's not corrupt in the more typical way, see, e.g., liberal hero Alcee Hastings. Still, if even half of these allegations are true, the only honorable thing for him to do is resign. You don't have to be perfect to be a judge, but you have to have a higher regard for the law than this.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 5, 2010 7:55:56 PM

I have appeared in this guy's courtroom. He was disresepctful in the extreme to lawyers who had double his intellect, three times his experience, and fifty times his professionalism. At the time, I thought -- what an a**hole!! Talk about what comes around goes around.

This loser is a typical political hack -- and I voted for his sponsor, President Reagan, twice. So this is not a left-wing attack deal.

Quite transparently, this dude is a jerk, who deserves to get a heavy, heavy sentence.

He has not the first idea about what it means to be a lawyer, or a judge. His plea should be insanity, because there is something wrong here -- very wrong.

Posted by: bobo | Oct 5, 2010 8:19:46 PM

Bill Otis, I don't disagree. I think DM and I had the exact same thought. Absent him being a federal judge or a felon for an FIP, this case never goes federal. I'm not saying he is being treated too harshly. I simply disagree that he's being treated too leniently. I am also not saying leniency is appropriate. I dont think one position requires me to reject the other. Especially when we only have a complaint. I'll at least wait for the indictment before I rush to judgment about how much special treatment he's receiving.

Posted by: Bill B. | Oct 5, 2010 9:30:39 PM

Bill B. --

Your waiting for more info is a wise move. I have no clue as to whether he should get a 924(c) charge. You'd have to know the case in much greater detail than I do.

I'm glad you've started to comment, BTW. Your experience is most useful.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 5, 2010 11:22:10 PM

"He was disresepctful in the extreme to lawyers who had double his intellect, three times his experience, and fifty times his professionalism."

Sounds like a great American. Those are members of a criminal cult enterprise. Only the convicted felon and the journalist are lower in moral standing.

Those drug laws? Mala prohibita banning substances that are mildly addictive, and that kill dozens of people a year. Meanwhile, the substances that are highly addictive and that together kill 500,000 people a year, perfectly legal under the dumbass lawyer managed government. Why? They generate massive lawyer jobs, from DUI's to mass litigation. The lawyer does not care that those 500,000 go out rough. Let's go after an old man and his stripper, instead of doing their duty of protecting the public.

Then let's allow 90% of 23 million FBI Index felonies to go unanswered, including a six fold heavier burden of murder victimization carried by black folks. Let's prosecute only 1 in 10. And let's offer half off discounts in plea bargaining.

And when mandatory sentencing guidelines for the much reduced charges from plea bargains result in a monumental 40% drop in crime victimization, let's make them discretionary. After all, those guidelines are the message of the public that the pro-criminal judge refuses to control crime. Why does the lawyer immunize 90% of major crime, then wants the criminal loosed when put in prison and committing far fewer crimes? The criminal generates lawyer jobs, the victim generates nothing and may rot.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 6, 2010 5:46:32 AM

Thanks. I will add I'm only a paralegal and I don't have nearly the experience you do. And I avoid posting on some topics because I'm still an active employee. But I appreciate your comments too.

Posted by: Bill B. | Oct 6, 2010 10:31:36 AM

It's one of the few times I cheer when non-violent, victimless human frailty collides with the Justice Department as it exists in post-Nixon/Reagan America.

Those who feed, stoke and defend the human furnace that passes for a justice system (members of congress, agents, prosecutors, judges)well deserve the misery they experience when they themselves get tossed kicking and screaming into the flames.

How does your reactionary get-tough-on-crime blather taste now, Judge Camp?

Posted by: John K | Oct 6, 2010 10:57:32 AM

I'm a little late in the thread, I realize, (I don't have the time that some of you do to hang out on the blog all day long), but I've had/seen plenty of cases where they tack a 924(c) onto a puny amount of drugs. I tried a case in North Carolina where my client had a dime bag of pot and a gun. Was there a 924(c) charge? You betcha. His guidelines for the pot were 0 - 6 months. The judge gave him probation for the pot and, of course, the 5-year mandatory sentence for the 924(c).
I don't see any reason why a judge should be treated differently.

Posted by: defense lawyer | Oct 6, 2010 8:18:34 PM

he is just like so many Federal employees, huge ego. And the girl is not evben remotely hott

Posted by: cassandra pegsmen lawyer | Oct 19, 2010 6:39:19 PM

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