Allegations against John Ford include threatening federal agents - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Allegations against John Ford include threatening federal agents

While one-group of federal agents arrested Senator John Ford, another group converged on his downtown office.

FBI and TBI agents searched Ford's files and computers. Hours later they hauled off boxes of information.

Senator John Ford allegedly pocketed $55,000 during this undercover operation. The often outspoken lawmaker didn't have much to say today.

Senator Ford arrived at federal court in the back of a unmarked sedan.

Inside court, Ford sat handcuffed and silent. He only answered "yes" or "no" questions from the judge.

Ford mostly listened, along with a crowded gallery, to what federal prosecutors had to say. And they said a lot: listing the litany of charges against the senator.

Those include accepting cash for political favors on Capitol Hill.

Spelled out in the indictment are conversations between Ford and undercover agents where the Senator says "Yeah, send me a little money."

We even obtained audio of Ford introducing legislation on behalf of the bogus computer recycling company used in the sting.

"You just can't dump or bury these kinds of products in the ground cause there's something in those computers. I don't know what it is, that is serious to the land," said Ford in the audiotape.

But the charges against Ford go way beyond extortion, that's why he remains behind bars.

The feds say Ford intimidated and threatened an agent, saying that if he caught someone trying to set him up he would shoot that peron--kill them--so there would be no witnesses.

Members of the Ford family weren't saying much after the hearing. Family members would only say that they were standing behind Senator Ford and that they love him.

Senator Ford could remain away from his family--in federal custody--until his trial.

John Ford sits in a cell tonight in the federal pen in Mason, Tenn.

Presumably, the feds want to keep Ford locked up until his trial.

At this point, he doesn't even have a permanent attorney. We've learned that several criminal defense attorneys have been interviewed. But due to what's being called Ford's "current financial conditions," he may have to rely on a public defender.

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