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Box Butte County Public Defender Facing Felony Drug Charge

Box Butte County Public Defender Facing Felony Drug Charge
(SBCDC Booking Photo)

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.

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