NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Former judge Casey Moreland was indicted Tuesday afternoon by a federal grand jury on five counts of obstruction of justice.
Moreland was initially arrested on March 28 on one count of obstruction of justice and tampering with a witness.
According to the indictment, the 59-year-old was working as a General Sessions judge when he became aware he was the target of an FBI investigation in February.
He’s accused of taking steps to obstruct and interfere with the investigation by devising a scheme to pay a material witness to take back her previous statements. Those statements reportedly implicated Moreland’s criminal conduct in trading sex for judicial favors.
Federal officials say the former judge’s scheme included using a burner phone registered to a fake name and talking only through someone who ultimately became an FBI informant.
The indictment also alleges Moreland took further action to have drugs planted in the witness’ car and to orchestrate a traffic stop by police during which the drugs would be found, she arrested, and her credibility destroyed.
The five counts of obstruction of justice against Moreland are outlined as follows:
- Count 1: Tampering with a witness by corrupt persuasion
- Count 2: Obstruction of an official proceeding
- Count 3: Obstruction of a criminal investigation by bribery
- Count 4: Retaliation against a witness, victim, or informant
- Count 5: Destroying, altering, or falsifying records or documents
Counts 1, 2 and 5 of the indictment carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Counts 3 and 4 carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. Each also carries a fine of up to $250,000.
News 2 reached out to Moreland’s attorney, Peter Strianse, who released the following statement:
The indictment returned today against Judge Moreland is simply an accusation and is not evidence of anything. He will plead not guilty and, like all citizens, is presumed innocent. The speaking allegations contained in the indictment refer to an affidavit that was never used or made public. Remarkably, at the preliminary hearing conducted last month in federal court, the FBI Agent testified that the investigation revealed that the affidavit was to be leaked to the media, not used in connection with any official court proceeding. If that is the case, there is a significant issue as to whether such an affidavit could ever trigger a violation of federal law.
The former judge remains on home detention for the time being. A new court date has yet to be set.