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NORFOLK A bail bondsman in Portsmouth pleaded guilty Thursday to bribing a magistrate and a sheriff's deputy to refer clients to him.

52-year-old Ulysses 'Tugger' Stephenson gave cash and gifts to magistrate Deborah Clark in return for referrals and for accepting his advice on bond amount.

Federal authorities say a bondsman earns money by charging a percentage of the amount of bond set by a magistrate.

From January 2009 through July 2010, he paid up to $150 per week to Clark and the deputy, according to the U.S Attorney's office.

Stephenson will be sentenced on November 2, 2012. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the bribery.

Clark pleaded guilty in May.

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