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Former sheriff's deputy Wade Smith pleads guilty, gets probation

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 9:22 PM
Last updated 10:48 PM
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Former Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Smith pleaded guilty Thursday to violation of oath of office, a felony, and misdemeanor trespass.

Richmond County Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Smith, 34, to six years probation under the First Offender Act. Smith must also pay a $5,000 fine, perform 200 hours of community service and pay $900 in restitution.

Smith was fired June 4 after an investigation found that he confiscated marijuana, money and a handgun but did not document them in a report or recover the property correctly. He said he destroyed the narcotics, discarded the weapon and turned over the cash to a relative of the defendant.

According to an indictment, Smith was accused of disposing of evidence collected during the Nov. 2 arrest of Charlie Davis to obstruct Davis’ prosecution. Davis was arrested in the 3000 block of Dent Street. Officer Shane Van Dyke, who was investigating a report of a domestic disturbance, charged him with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, according to court records.

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Darby
29192
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Darby 09/27/13 - 12:10 am
8
0
Good Grief!!

Did this guy do ANYTHING right?

Sounds like he should be in jail, not on probation....

Something not quite right going on here.

GiantsAllDay
10463
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GiantsAllDay 09/27/13 - 12:56 am
5
4
Darby, you and I would be in

Darby, you and I would be in jail, but not this guy. Give a guy a badge and gun and even if he gets caught harming his fellow human beings, the system will still take care of him.

GiantsAllDay
10463
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GiantsAllDay 09/27/13 - 01:02 am
4
4
At least give credit to the

At least give credit to the Augusta Chronicle for reporting this. Crooked cops mess with people in Augusta every day. 1 out of 1000 crooked cops get caught and it makes news. The other 999 go home to their wife and kids and sleep soundly every night.

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/27/13 - 04:34 am
5
4
Before I ever finished

Before I ever finished reading the article and got to the comments; I already knew who I could count on for their police hating comments. Thanks for not letting me down.

Question is; do you EVER have any proof of your allegations or are we just suppose to BLINDLY believe you, because you're absolutely at the top of the list of people with honesty and integrity?

Now, I certainly wouldn't even ask for you to prove that officer's SOMETIMES are crooked, or do crooked things, because we know people in every profession commit criminal offenses. In a profession of approximately 1 million people, there will be corruption. Politicians go to jail, Pastor's go to jail, liberal's go to jail, conservatives go to jail. But do you have ANY evidence "Crooked cops mess with people in Augusta every day."? Or do you have evidence that "1 out of 1000 crooked cops get caught."?

Since it's very hard to find scientific studies on the matter; many, through research have came up with theories estimating between 1% and 5% of the total law enforcement officer's in this Country are corrupt. Now, they've also stated that in certain areas of the Country, notably Los Angeles and NY City (by the way, two very liberal cities) corruption appears to be higher, possibly somewhere at the 25% range or possibly slightly higher. I wonder why two very LIBERAL Cities, lead the nation in corruption? Oh, by the way; the third and fourth highest Cities (Detriot and Chicago) both VERY liberal as well. I'm sensing a common denominator with these corrupt cities, are you?

Any way you put it, the professional theories, would NOT support some on here's claim that MOST or ALL law enforcement officer are crooked or corrupt.

Well, that is unless you go to some ultra liberal, police hating website; some of those sites claim that 95-100% of officers are corrupt. Is that not ridiculous to anyone with a shred of common sense?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_corruption

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/...

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/27/13 - 05:19 am
4
2
If you go back to my original

If you go back to my original comments about this Deputy, when he was claiming his innocence, I said he was lying and something wasn't right. Why? Because the way he said he "disposed" of the evidence is absurd and against the policy of EVERY law enforcement agency in the Country. This guy is a LIAR and he IS one of the corrupt ones!! I completely agree that he should be in prison!!

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/27/13 - 05:36 am
4
2
What I do NOT believe, is he

What I do NOT believe, is he was given a light sentence BECAUSE of being law enforcment. He was probably given a lighter sentence because of a lack of criminal history, you know the old "First offender status" which does apply to ALL citizens, including law enforcement officers.

Historically, former law enforcement get tougher sentences when charged with criminal activity. I've actually sat in court for many of these sentences. The Judge will usually say something like "As a deputy, you should have known better." I also remember this because every time I hear them say it, I always think "So deputies are suppose to know better, but regular citizens aren't suppose to know not to murder, rob, rape or steal?"

Deputies are suppose to know right from wrong, but civilian citizens aren't? Anyway, I remember a case where a deputy I knew was breaking into local schools in Columbia County. Now, he wasn't doing this to steal for financial gain. You know why he was doing this? To make himself LOOK GOOD to the boss. He would do the burglaries, then turn around and "Find them" even calling in fake foot chases but always losing them in the woods.

His main reason for doing this was nothing more than to make himself appear to be a "great Deputy" by discovering all these burglaries. He even found an explosive device at North Columbia elementary, attached to the door. Problem was, it wasn't real explosives and HE was the one put it there, so HE could find it and make himself look good and that he saved the day!!

My point to this is; this man got 10 years in prison and the only thing he stole was one of the security video tapes and back then, it was still VHS. So don't tell me law enforcement officers get cut slack in sentencing because of their career. It's usually the exact opposite, because we were suppose to "Know better."

nocnoc
49121
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nocnoc 09/27/13 - 05:57 am
2
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Important missing facts in the story.

Where did the Pistol end up?
How did he dispose of the weed?
Who ratted him out? The guy he was giving a break to or the domestic partner?

Because given the limited facts as stated, and if are correct, it was not for self gain, it was to give the person another chance.

But either way, it looks like he took the 2nd chance thing to far.

GnipGnop
12744
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GnipGnop 09/27/13 - 06:53 am
6
0
Myfather...I am pro law enforcement

and have several family members that are and were career LEO but when they cross that line they should recieve a harsher penalty. They took an oath to uphold the law. By violating that oath, in my opinion, that makes them twice as bad as a regular criminal and calls into question every arrest and every trial they testified at. He should have recieved the maximum sentence and no first offender status.

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/27/13 - 07:04 am
6
1
nocnoc

You can give someone a warning, or second chance without IMPROPERLY disposing of the evidence. He "disposed" of the evidence, but we are suppose to just take his word for it, because there was no documentation of the disposal, or method of disposal, only his WORD that he did. This is completely against every policy of disposing of evidence.

Those questions you raised are completely legitimate and are also the entire problem with the case. He couldn't PROVE where the firearm or marijuana went; only stated he destroyed the marijuana and "discarded" the firearm. Well, where did you discard it? Did you throw it out the window, going down the road? Did you throw it into a lake? What?

Also, it's my understanding this marijuana was CLOSE to one pound. That appears to be quite a quanity of marijuana for a "warning" or second chance. As a matter of fact, to a deputy of 16 years, it's quite shocking to the consicious. I find it hard to believe he issued a "warning" or gave a second chance to a drug dealer in possession of a firearm as well; two major felonies. This was NOT a dime bag in the guy's pocket for personal use.

This case stinks of a corrupt officer and he should have got a tougher sentence. But I've witnessed hundreds of other cases, not involving law enforcement officer's, where they got off easy.

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/27/13 - 07:05 am
4
0
GripGnop

I completely agree with your last comment!!

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/27/13 - 07:08 am
4
2
But I do wonder where SOME

But I do wonder where SOME people get the the information they produce on here, to further their point!!

"1 out of 1000 crooked cops get caught and it makes news. The other 999 go home to their wife and kids and sleep soundly every night."

Where did you get this "1 out of 1000" statistic? Seriously. Did you just think this up in your head and post it to further your point? Could you provide a reference to enlighten the rest of us? If this is factual, we need to learn about this, but not just from someone's word.

nocnoc
49121
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nocnoc 09/27/13 - 07:21 am
5
0
Thanks MyFather15 - Now we get some additional facts

So this wasn't nickel or dime bag toss (a few joints),
but more like dealer / distributor weight, 1/2 a Kilo tampering issue.

So Now I Am Wondering:

What the ballistics matches for the pistol would have shown?

How many $1,000's were returned to the "Relative/Family member" ?

How many plea deals the DA will have to make?

How many criminals the DA will have to cut loose because his other cases are now tainted?

As it stands now, his screw up has in fact jeopardized the possible prosecution of a large number of ARC Criminals.

I wish the AC would be a little more detailed with the evidence and facts.
Even a simple URL to a PDF would be welcomed, if space is the issue.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 09/27/13 - 07:31 am
5
0
I would say this too...

The amount of crooked cops when compared to the amount of total cops is minimal. Do you have cops with bad attitudes? Of course you do...but I also have dealt with walmart cashiers that were rude too... The way I always handle dealing with any police officer is this....yes sir...no sir...yes ma'am...no ma'am...I answer truthfully. If stopped at night I always turm my interior light on and have my registration ready. I know they have a job to do and most do it with professionalism. there are bad apples in every line of work out there. It's the bad ones that stick out not the 100's of good ones that do their job the right way.

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 09/27/13 - 08:09 am
4
0
percent of Good Cop vs. Bad cops

Just spent 50+ mins trying to run down a definitive source for a # USA wide, but nothing seems to be officially tracked..

The only fact I can provide is:
Is it depends on the city and areas patrolled.
Larger cities (Atl, DC, Philly, NYC) tend to run 2 to 4%

ARC Numbers
So far ARC has had what 2 or 3 deputies arrested and convicted in the last year?

According to Augusta Web Site:
"There are a total of 237 certified law enforcement officers working either a permanent day or night shift."

2/237 = 0.008% or 8/10 of 1 % screwed up.

Pretty darn good odds you will get stopped 99.20% by a honest cop.
http://www.augustaga.gov/index.aspx?NID=334

seenitB4
97019
Points
seenitB4 09/27/13 - 08:35 am
3
0
Most of the time

I think the police do an outstanding job....I try to be as nice as possible to all of them.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/27/13 - 09:27 am
0
4
some of the most judgmental

some of the most judgmental people in the world are on this board. i'm sure if any one you geniuses were standing trial, you would ask for the first offender act to be waived, and want the most severe punishment available. give me a break....crawl back into your holes!

GiantsAllDay
10463
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GiantsAllDay 09/27/13 - 09:30 am
4
0
I'm taking a break from

I'm taking a break from commenting. Probably for at least a month. You folks have fun

nocnoc
49121
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nocnoc 09/27/13 - 09:44 am
1
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GiantsAllDay hope

everything is ok?

corgimom
38278
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corgimom 09/27/13 - 02:29 pm
1
0
If they put him in prison, he

If they put him in prison, he would probably be killed.

Cops don't fare well in prison, even sorry ones.

corgimom
38278
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corgimom 09/27/13 - 02:35 pm
1
0
If they put him in prison, he

And he did this to himself.

myfather15
56419
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myfather15 09/28/13 - 10:31 am
1
0
Finally, GAD posts something

Finally, GAD posts something I can give him a thumbs up on!!

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