US judge faces 37yrs in jail for bribing FBI agent to get family members' texts

© Reuters
A North Carolina local judge allegedly asked a known FBI official to obtain text messages from two phone numbers owned by judge’s family members for personal reasons. Placed on administrative leave, the judge is now facing up to 37 years in prison.

Wayne County Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones asked unnamed FBI agent for a favor in a conversation that took place in October, reports Ars Technica.

“…See what you can do without drawing attention. This involves family, so I don't want anyone to know,” the judge allegedly told his FBI ‘contact’.

“A couple of cases of beer” were offered as payment, although later the parties agreed to replace them with $100.

On November 3 the judge was given a disk “represented to contain” texts of the messages from numbers belonging to still undisclosed members of his family - and went to jail a day later, accused of three felonies, which could add up to 37 years behind bars if he’s convicted.

Though the judge has already been released without bond, he has been placed on administrative leave and is now preparing to come before the court to defend abuse of power charges.

The felonies of which Jones is accused include two charges of bribing a public official and an “attempted corrupt influence of official proceeding.”

The federal indictment lodged against Jones does not mention neither the name the FBI official involved in scandal nor the identities of the family members whom the judge allegedly intended to spy on.

Arnold Ogden Jones is described in the local media as a “registered Democrat” elected to the Superior Court bench back in 2008 for an eight-year term, which was supposed to end in 2016.