Ex-North Carolina Judge Pleads Guilty to Attempted Bribe

(CN) – A former North Carolina Superior Court judge pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to offering an FBI task force agent two cases of Bud Light and $100 to obtain his wife’s text messages.

Arnold Ogden Jones II entered the plea agreement while awaiting his second trial — originally scheduled for March 27 — after a federal judge vacated a jury’s October 2016 finding that he committed three separate corruption felonies.

Jones pleaded guilty to promising and paying gratuities to a public official after he attempted to bribe a Wayne County sheriff’s deputy and FBI gang task force agent Matthew Miller to get copies of his wife’s texts to see if she was having an affair.

Charges of paying a bribe to a public official and corruptly attempting to influence an official proceeding were dropped in exchange for Jones’ guilty plea.

The FBI investigation turned up a video of Jones in his judicial robes exchanging $100 — instead of the Bud Light — for a disk purportedly containing the texts on the steps of the Wayne County Courthouse.

Miller led a “SWAT-team-like raid” at Jones’ house in November 2015, arresting him at gunpoint and taking him directly to a federal courtroom for a criminal hearing.

Jones has since lost his bid for re-election after eight years as a superior court Judge. When he is sentenced in April, Jones faced up to 2 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

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