FORT WORTH -- A 71-year-old inmate was charged with murder for hire in a plot against a U.S. district judge.

Phillip Monroe Ballard allegedly approached another inmate about killing U.S. District Judge John McBryde while Ballard was in federal custody on tax-related charges.

The other inmate was a confidential FBI informant, and gave Ballard the number of someone he said "could handle the chore." Ballard allegedly called the number four times and arranged a $5,000 payment with an undercover federal agent.

Ballard will remain in custody pending further criminal proceedings in the case. He is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Fort Worth in "the near future," according to a press release.

If convicted, Ballard faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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