Ex-deputy indicted on evidence charge

An ex-Richmond County sheriff’s deputy is being charged with tampering with evidence and violating his oath of office after findings from an internal investigation were presented to a grand jury.

Wade Smith, who had been a deputy since 2002, was terminated June 4 after an investigation into accusations he had improperly handled and recovered property seized from a defendant he investigated in November.

During the investigation, the sheriff’s office learned Smith had confiscated a large amount of marijuana, money and a handgun but did not document them in any report or recover the property correctly.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, Smith contended he had destroyed the narcotics, discarded the weapon and turned over the cash to a relative of the defendant.

Internal affairs fired Smith on the grounds that he violated policy and procedures. The findings were forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review.

On Tuesday, the case was presented to the grand jury, which indicted Smith on the charges.

According to the indictment, Smith is accused of disposing of evidence collected during the Nov. 2 arrest of a man named Charlie Davis to obstruct the prosecution of Davis.

A Charlie D. Davis Jr., 31, was arrested just after midnight Nov. 2, at 3037 Dent St. Officer Shane Van Dyke, who was investigating a report of a domestic disturbance, charged Davis with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, according to court records.

That case is pending trial in Richmond County State Court.

A warrant was issued for Smith’s arrest, and the sheriff’s office said Smith’s attorney was making arrangements for him to surrender.

Richmond County deputy fired over evidence issue

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