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Scottsbluff man found guilty of juror bribery

- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

GERING, Neb. (AP) - A Scottsbluff man already convicted on drug and other charges has been found guilty of juror bribery.

It took a Scotts Bluff County jury less than two hours to convict Brian Ross on Tuesday. He faces up to five years behind bars when he's sentenced on April 24.

Prosecutors said Ross offered cash to a juror, Jordan Carrizales, as he arrived at the courthouse for his drug trial on Dec. 4. Carrizales joined the jury panel, listened to testimony, and then reported the offer during the lunch break. He was replaced by an alternate.

The jury subsequently convicted Ross of felony possession of methamphetamine and two misdemeanors: reckless driving and obstructing a police officer. In January he was sentenced to 540 days on the three convictions.

At Tuesday's trial Carrizales testified that as he entered the courthouse in December, Ross was standing by the entrance. As Ross followed him up the staircase to the courtroom, Carrizales said, Ross asked Carrizales whether he could help him out in court that day. Carrizales said Ross told the juror he'd give him an "envelope full of cash" if he agreed to help.

Ross denied on the stand that he had any money on him that day or that he had offered Carrizales a bribe. But investigator Brandi Brunz said she saw Ross hand his father a wallet containing at least $200 in cash before Ross was taken out of the courtroom.

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