Message Sent to HCSO Deputy
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – It happens. At one time or another, most people have texted someone they didn’t mean to. In what could qualify for a list of “World’s Dumbest Criminals,” however, a Trinity man sent a text advertising the sale of illegal drugs to a Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputy.
Andrew Scott Smith, 32, was taken into custody on Jan. 9 and charged with four felonies and three misdemeanors after he mistakenly texted HCSO Sgt. Detric Murray a picture of a large quantity of ecstasy pills he was looking to sell.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Murray received a text from an unknown number on his work cellular phone. The message had a photo of a small, clear baggie with a large, unknown number of different, random colored pills inside of it, known to be ecstasy pills by the HCSO sergeant.
Murray conferred with Sgt. Larenzo Simpson “… and replied back to the picture message saying, ‘confirm meeting spot.’”
The law enforcement officers and Smith texted back-and-forth concerning several different possible places to meet, including Weldon.
A store in Weldon was ruled out, however, Smith then suggested to “… meet on your road.” The affidavit, asserted Murray had no idea where the meet was supposed to take place but did ascertain Smith would be driving a Dodge Durango. He also learned the text came from a Huntsville phone number.
With no idea where the meet was scheduled, Murray took a chance and pulled over in a private parking lot located along FM 230, just south of Weldon “… to work stationary traffic.”
The initial text was received at approximately 5:15 pm and roughly 90 minutes later, Murray observed a dark-colored Durango headed south on FM 230. The affidavit reported Murray got behind the vehicle and observed said vehicle swerve to the left, almost striking oncoming traffic.
After the near miss, the vehicle overcorrected and crossed the solid white line, Murray initiated a traffic stop near the front of the Eastham prison unit.
Once the Durango came to a stop, Murray made contact with the driver – identified as Andrew Scott Smith.
“I (Murray) advised the reason for the stop and immediately observed a .357 Magnum handgun in plain sight, wedged between the front driver’s seat and the center console,” the affidavit stated.
It was determined Smith did not have a concealed handgun license and it was further learned Smith did not have a driver’s license.
Smith was placed under arrest for the firearm and the traffic violations.
“A search of the defendant’s (Smith) person was conducted and in his front shirt pocket was a small, clear baggie with three yellow pills which the defendant stated were Xanax,” the legal document stated.
As a result, a search of the vehicle was conducted which uncovered: several ecstasy pills, weighing approximately 4.4 grams; four clear baggies containing 24.1 grams of cocaine; a small amount of methamphetamine; several clear baggies the defendant said he used for marijuana; and another handgun, along with a rifle.
Smith was arrested and transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on charges of: manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, greater than four grams but less than 200 grams; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, greater than four grams but less than 200 grams; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, less than one gram; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group two, greater than four grams but less than 400 grams; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group three; unlawful carrying of a weapon; and no driver’s license.
The manufacturing/delivery charge is considered as a first degree felony while two of the possession charges are considered as second degree felonies.
According to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
His total bond was set at $83,000, which was posted. Once he made bail, Smith was released, pending further legal actions.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.