By DENISE A. RAYMO Press-Republican
---- — MALONE — A Bangor man serving on a Franklin County grand jury was charged Thursday with telling people that they were targets of investigations.
Paul Jock Jr., 21, of Lee Road was arrested in the grand-jury room in front of the other jurors serving on the secret panel.
Jock was charged with disclosing grand-jury information, a felony that carries a four-year state-prison term if he’s found guilty.
Two other people, who were not seated on the grand jury, were being sought by State Police Thursday and will face fifth-degree conspiracy charges for allegedly aiding Jock, said District Attorney Derek Champagne.
He said State Police had people under surveillance as part of a drug investigation, and that information was shared as part of the grand-jury proceeding.
Jock allegedly called the people and told them they were being targeted by the police.
As soon as State Police learned about the alleged disclosure, they notified Champagne and began an investigation.
The DA shuffled the cases that were scheduled to be heard before the grand jury so that drug-related ones were no longer presented in front of Jock.
Champagne said that if the drug cases about which Jock disclosed information had involved gang activity, organized crime or other drug rings, the people involved, as well as innocent bystanders and children, could have been killed or injured to silence witnesses and preserve the drug-trafficking operation.
“The hallmark of a grand jury is its secrecy,” Champagne said, adding that his office explains that, the judge explains it and that each person has to sign a document that spells that out before they can serve.
“It is a secrecy that never ends,” he said. “Disclosure has a ripple effect, and it could be a situation of life and death.”
The DA said Jock’s arrest should be a sign to others “what happens to you if you violate the secrecy of the grand jury.”
He said his office had “never dealt with him in any capacity other than today.”
This was only the second time a grand-jury-disclosure arrest was made in the 11 years that Champagne has been DA and just the third such case to go before longtime County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr.
The other case that Champagne was connected with involved a woman who used the pay telephone in the County Courthouse lobby to call her boyfriend and tell him that some of his friends were targets of a grand-jury investigation.
That woman served six months in County Jail and five years of probation.
Email Denise A. Raymo:firstname.lastname@example.org