Box Butte County’s Public Defender was arrested Tuesday night and is facing a charge of Possession of Cocaine (10 to 28 grams) with Intent to Distribute.
52-year-old Jon Worthman was taken into custody on Tuesday night following an operation involving the controlled delivery of approximately an ounce of cocaine by a cooperating individual working with the WING Drug Task Force.
Court records say following the transaction in the 2300 block of Avenue H in Scottsbluff, Worthman was contacted directly by investigators WING and Scottsbluff Police, and arrested after the purchased narcotics were found inside his vehicle.
Investigators say in a subsequent interview, Worthman said he believed he would be purchasing at least two eight-balls (approx. 7 grams) of cocaine, admitted to receiving cocaine in the past in exchange for legal services, and using the drug himself.
Initial bond was set at $150,000 with a 10% provision, and court officials indicated he bonded out Wednesday morning.
Nebraska Assistant Attorney General Doug Warner has been named special prosecutor, however Court documents do not show a date for an initial appearance. The felony charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years, and a maximum of fifty years.
Worthman was elected as Box Butte County’s Public Defender in 2014 and he was re-elected in 2018.