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Federal judge pleads guilty to helping stripper buy drugs

ATLANTA, Nov 19 (Reuters Legal) - A senior federal judge in Atlanta pleaded guilty on Friday to helping an exotic dancer buy cocaine, marijuana and prescription pain killers.

Jack Camp, 67, pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony charge of aiding and abetting a felon's possession of cocaine and two misdemeanor charges: illegal drug possession and unlawfully giving his U.S. District Court-issued laptop to the stripper for her personal use. Camp resigned as part of his plea and could face up to four years in prison. He will be sentenced in March.

Camp met the stripper at an Atlanta club last spring when he purchased a private dance from her, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in October.

He returned to the club the next day, paid the dancer for sex and snorted cocaine with her, the complaint said. They continued to meet for sex and drugs, prosecutors alleged.

On October 1, the judge and the stripper, who was then cooperating with FBI agents, purchased drugs from an undercover agent. Before the drug buy, Camp boasted that he was carrying a pistol.

"I'll watch your back anytime," he told the dancer, according to the federal complaint.

Camp was arrested a few minutes later and two loaded pistols were recovered in his truck.

Camp was appointed to the federal bench in late 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and served as chief judge in the Northern District of Georgia before taking senior status in 2008, a form of semi-retirement.

The case is USA v. Camp, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), No. 10-MJ-01415. Representing the government are trial lawyers Deborah Mayer and Tracee Plowell from the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Camp is represented by Judson Starr of Venable in Washington, D.C.; Michael Kam of Kam & Ebersbach in Newnan, Georgia; and William Morrison and Wallace Clayton of Jones Morrison & Womack in Atlanta.

(Reporting by David Beasley of Reuters; Additional reporting by Terry Baynes of Reuters Legal)

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