Davidson County former Judge Casey Moreland was indicted by a federal grand jury. Moreland was indicted Wednesday on five counts of obstruction of justice.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith made the announcement in a press release. Moreland was initially arrested on March 28 on a criminal complaint charging him with several obstruction charges.
According to the indictment, Moreland was a General Sessions Judge in Nashville, Tenn. and in February 2017, he became aware that he was a target of an investigation being conducted by the FBI and a federal grand jury.
The indictment alleges that after learning of the nature of the investigation, Moreland took steps to obstruct and interfere with the investigation by devising a scheme to pay a material witness to recant her previous statements, which implicated his criminal conduct in trading sex for judicial favors.
The scheme included Moreland’s attempt to disguise his involvement in the obstruction by using a burner phone registered in a fictitious name and communicating only through an individual who subsequently became an informant, working at the direction of the FBI.
The indictment also alleges that Moreland took further actions and devised a scheme to have drugs planted in the witness’ car and to orchestrate a traffic stop by police, in which the drugs would be found, so that she would be arrested and her credibility destroyed.
Counts 1, 2 & 5 of the indictment carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Counts 3 &4 carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cecil VanDevender and Trial Attorney Lauren Bell, of the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice.