North Carolina judge found guilty of bribery

Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones.

A jury has found North Carolina Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones, II guilty of charges he tried to bribe an FBI officer to get text messages between his wife and another man.

The Goldsboro News-Argus reports the verdict came after more than 30 minutes of deliberation.

Last year, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Jones with promising and paying a bribe to a public official, promising and paying a gratuity to a public official, and corruptly attempting to influence an official proceeding.

Jones is the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of District 8-B, which covers Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties. He's on the ballot for reelection this fall.

His sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 23 in Wilmington. He faces a maximum of 37 years in federal prison.

It's illegal for law officers like an FBI agent to demand text or phone information from a phone company without an approved search warrant in an active case.

Jones approached the unnamed FBI officer to exchange $100 for a disk supposedly containing the data, prosecutors said.

Jones is the former chairman of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, the first state-run agency in the country dedicated to proving a convicted person's innocence.

Jones was a private attorney in Goldsboro for 18 years before being elected to the Superior Court in 2008. He earned degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Wake Forest University law school.

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