Judge Who Presided Over Drug Cases Admits To Being Drug Mule
Virginia Ward, a Utah judge since 2002, said she was using drugs for neck pain
A Utah judge has pleaded guilty to felony drug possession after police caught her delivering the pain killer Oxycodone to her dealer, The Salt Lake City Tribune reports. Virginia Ward, 46, a judge since 2002, hasn't sat behind the bench in almost five months. She presided over many cases of misdemeanor drug charges, but she's now seeing the courtroom from a drug defendant's perspective.
Ward faces up to 15 years in prison for possessing the highly addictive pain pill. She was investigated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which staked out a UPS store where she allegedly picked up drugs.
The DEA ultimately confiscated 398 Oxycodone pills from two shipments, the Associated Press reported.
Ward, who said she used Oxycodone for neck pain, admitted knowing that her dealer would illegally distribute the pills, according to the Tribune. She said she completed a similar transaction with him before, in exchange for some of the Oxycodone.
She resigned on Aug. 19. In a letter to Salt Lake City Justice Court Director Curtis Preece, Ward wrote, "I ... deeply apologize."