Michael Douglas' imprisoned son pleaded guilty to a new drug charge Thursday, admitting that he managed to get drugs in prison even while he was cooperating with the government in a drug investigation.
Cameron Douglas, 32, pleaded guilty to a narcotics possession charge, saying: "God knows I'm sorry about this situation." Although the charge carries the potential for a 20-year prison term, a plea deal with prosecutors recommended Douglas serve between a year and 1½ years in prison. His sentencing was set for Dec. 21.
Michael Douglas, who was not in court, said in a statement that his son's offense involved a small user-quantity of drugs.
"Cameron accepts full responsibility for his conduct," the father said. "While he has made much progress, he is still not cured. Most people and their families are able to address this illness privately and outside the spotlight. Unfortunately this has not been possible here — for reasons completely outside of his control. He thanks those that have rooted for his recovery and looks forward to the day when he will not disappoint."
The plea came just two weeks after Cameron Douglas testified as a government witness against a co-defendant facing drug charges. The testimony was part of the cooperation he promised when he was sentenced to five years in prison after his arrest in July 2009 for dealing methamphetamine from a high-end Manhattan hotel.
In his latest plea, the son of the Academy Award-winning actor admitted possessing drugs from May through last week. That's when authorities found what appeared to be heroin and cocaine in his cell.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman questioned whether security lapses at two federal prison facilities made it possible for Douglas to obtain drugs, and he added that he was worried that someone might be able to smuggle weapons into the prisons if they can get drugs in.
"I'm going to make a strong recommendation that he not go back to either of these facilities," Berman said, referring to the Metropolitan Correction Center adjacent to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan and the federal prison in Pennsylvania.
The judge said he assumes prison facilities are safe and well managed when he sends prisoners to them and he has the expectation "that these types of things don't go on."
A prosecutor said the FBI was investigating to try to find out how the drugs were obtained. He said Douglas immediately accepted responsibility for his latest crime.