Citizen’s report leads Austin officers to possible dealer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 07:34

A report on April 2 about a “suspicious man” walking around residences south of Austin led to an arrest for dealing in methamphetamine (meth).

Austin police received the report, and Detective Don Campbell and Patrolman Anthony Hurt responded, checking the Van Campen Road area for the man that Monday. During the search, the officers learned that someone had seen the man get into an older Chevy S10 pickup truck with a missing front grill and drive off.

In an attempt to find the man, Det. Campbell drove south on U.S. Highway 31 while Ptl. Hurt went north into Austin. He notified Det. Campbell when he found the vehicle parked at gas pumps at a gas station on State Road 256 West.

Ptl. Hurt talked to the driver, identified as Jonathan Cruz Smith, 32. Smith has a criminal record in Scott County, but he gave officers a New Castle address. His court papers reflect an Austin address.

While checking Smith’s identity, Det. Campbell learned from dispatchers that Smith had never received a driver license. He was placed under arrest for that Class C misdemeanor.

Ptl. Hurt took Smith to the Scott County Security Center in Scottsburg. At the scene of the arrest, Sgt. Scott McCoskey and his K-9 Diablo walked around the vehicle. Sgt. McCoskey advised Ptl. Hurt that the trained dog indicated that drugs were in the vehicle.

By this time, two deputies had arrived. With assistance from Deputy J.R. Ward and Rex Herald, a small black safe and a backpack were recovered from the truck. The safe contained 9.2 grams of meth, the probable cause affidavit related. The black bag had meth and a pair of digital scales.

Consequently, Smith’s charges grew from a misdemeanor to Level 3 felony dealing in meth, Level 5 felony possession of meth, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance and the original misdemeanor of operating a motor vehicle when never receiving a driver license and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Smith was placed on a 15-day hold without bond. His bail has already been set at $100,000 by corporate surety bond or $10,000 cash.

His initial hearing took place on April 5. A preliminary plea of not guilty was entered for him, with an initial jury trial date of June 25 assigned to the case. He was also provided with a public defender.

Additionally, the Prosecutor’s Office filed a Notice of Intent to seek an enhanced penalty on three of the counts filed against Smith because of a prior conviction, a Level 5 felony count of dealing meth to which he pleaded guilty in November, 2015. In that case, Smith received a sentence of four years, three of which were suspended.