A district attorney charged with misdemeanor methamphetamine (search) possession on Wednesday denied having the drug and said he would mount "a vigorous defense" during an initial appearance in federal court.

Rick Roach, district attorney for Gray, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Roberts and Wheeler counties, was arrested Tuesday while at the Gray County Courthouse, charged in a federal warrant for knowingly and intentionally possessing methamphetamine.

U.S. Magistrate Nancy M. Koenig warned Roach against defending himself.

Kathy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Texas (search), told The Pampa News: "The investigation is ongoing. We have 30 days to present evidence to a grand jury."

She would not comment further on the case.

Roach was 11 days into his second four-year term as district attorney. He has been a licensed attorney for 25 years, and was Roberts County attorney for 10 years before being elected district attorney.

If convicted, Roach faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Switzer said she had no comment, as did Pampa Police Chief Trevlyn Pitner and Gray County Sheriff Don Copeland.