|By David Hedges, Publisher|
Times Record-Roane County Reporter
Two felony drug cases were dismissed last week after Roane prosecutor Josh Downey said he heard the investigating officer in each case confess that he had consumed most of the evidence himself.
Former Spencer Police officer and current sheriff-elect Bo Williams was the investigating officer in both cases.
Charges against John Michael Smith, 35, of Prospect St., Spencer and Joseph Clayton Southers, 40, of Wigner St., Grantsville were on the docket in Roane Circuit Court last Wednesday.
Downey told Circuit Judge David Nibert that much of the drug evidence in each case was missing. "I was a witness to the officer's confession that he took a significant portion of the evidence and consumed it," Downey said later.
Williams was elected sheriff in November. Barring a last-minute resignation, Williams' term is set to begin Sunday, Jan. 1. (See related story)
Williams was an officer with the Spencer Police Dept. when the two drug arrests were made. Smith was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of heroin and two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The charges allege Williams found Smith, convicted earlier of a felony destruction of property charge, in possession of a 9mm pistol and a .32 caliber revolver.
According to the charges Williams filed against Southers, he was supposed to be working as an informant, but stole most of the drugs he purchased using police cash.
In early September, Williams allegedly gave Southers $200 to purchase two grams of crystal meth, but Southers only brought back a little over half a gram, according to the charges Williams filed in the case.
A few days later, Williams said he gave Southers $400 in cash to buy an "8-ball" (3.5 grams of meth), but Southers allegedly returned with only 1.5 grams.
Southers was charged with two counts of possession of meth with intent to deliver, petit larceny and an unrelated felony shoplifting charge.
At Wednesday's hearing, all the charges against both Smith and Southers were dismissed.
READ TIMES RECORD/ROANE COUNTY REPORTER