MALONE - A grand juror was escorted out of the grand jury chambers Thursday morning in handcuffs by New York State Police.
Paul Jock, Jr. of Lee Road in Bangor was charged with unlawful grand jury disclosure, a class E felony.
Jock was arraigned and sent to the Franklin County Jail with bail set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.
The arrest stems from an ongoing investigation by the NYSP Troop B Narcotics Unit, which led members of the unit to determine that an alleged narcotics trafficker under surveillance was offered information regarding targets of the Franklin County Grand Jury, according to a news release from the Franklin County District Attorneys )ffice.
It added phone call monitoring was part of the investigation, which helped to reveal that alleged targets of the grand jury were being disclosed and notified.
Jock is also alleged to have discussed previous cases presented to the grand jury with people not serving as grand jurors, according to the release.
Two other people were also picked up by the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation [BCI] investigators based in Malone for questioning, according to the release. It addedthey may face fifth-degree conspiracy charges for their alleged assistance in the unlawful disclosure.
With the investigation into the matter ongoing, its possible that there will be more defendants and charges, the release said.
It really strikes at the core of the grand jury system, District Attorney Derek Champagne said following the arrest. One of the hallmarks of grand jury is its secrecy.
He noted the disclosure of grand jury information will not affect any investigations, adding that law enforcement found out about the matter almost immediately.
Mr. Champagne said his office has not dealt with Jock before.
If Jock is convicted of the crime, he could face up to four years in state prison, the DA noted.
Disclosure of grand jury material has only happened twice since Mr. Champagne has been district attorney, he said. During the other incident, a grand juror notified her boyfriend of some of his friends being indicted. She pleaded guilty to the same class E felony charge Jock faces and ws sentenced to six months in jail and placed on probation for five years.
Mr. Champagne said that other grand jurors witnessed Jocks arrest and does not believe any of them are involved with the disclosure.
He also spoke of the importance of keeping grand jury proceedings secret in the news release, noting that it is paramount to our system and a violation can not only harm those accused of crimes but it can harm those entirely innocent of crimes and bystanders or family members who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The release notes that along with the DAs office, the state police Troop B Narcotics Unit, the Malone BCI Units senior investigator and investigators, and Malone Village Police Chief Chris Premo assisted with the investigation.