A North Carolina judge is in hot water for trying to get an FBI agent to do him a solid by snooping on his family members’ text messages in return for a couple of cases of beer. This well-designed plot was crafted by Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones II, who apparently is unaware of the standard operating procedure in normal, completely functional families—swipe the person’s phone password and get the text messages yourself. Instead of that DIY solution, Jones got all fancy and came up with this plan of attack (via the News and Observer).
Jones, the senior resident Superior Court judge in a judicial district that includes Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties, is accused of texting the agent on Oct. 10, trying to get copies of text messages exchanged between two numbers. The FBI can only obtain those records with a warrant approved by a federal magistrate judge on suspicion of criminal activity. According to the indictment, the judge told the agent the messages were “just for (him)” and “involve(d) family members...”
The FBI agent and judge met in a car on Oct. 27, according to the indictment, where they discussed a fee for the information. Jones reportedly offered the agent “a couple of cases of beer” for helping him get the information. On Monday, the federal agent informed the judge he had the information on a disk. In addition to agreeing to shred the disk so it could not be traced back to the agent’s computer, the judge reportedly told the agent he had “his paycheck.” During that time, the indictment states, the judge agreed to give the agent $100 instead of beer. The two met on Tuesday in Goldsboro, and the judge handed over $100 in cash, according to the indictment.
It’s hard to imagine how Jones’ Michael Scott-esque plan backfired, what with so many moving pieces and all. Now, Jones doesn’t have the text messages, is out a hundo, and has been charged with trying to bribe a federal agent.