ETX lawyers look to see if charged Smith Co. deputy “tainted” any cases
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Former Smith County Patrol Deputy Kimbrick Jones was arrested Wednesday morning outside of the Smith County Jail.
Jones is charged with one count of intent to distribute less than 50 grams of meth, one count of intent to distribute less than 28 grams of crack cocaine, and two counts of use and carry of a firearm related to a drug trafficking crime.
Jones was charged in a federal court and booked into the Gregg County Jail Wednesday night.
KLTV was at the ceremony where Jones got his license to become a Smith County Peace Officer back in 2005.
"Very stressful, very time consuming. A lot of time away from your family. It takes a lot of dedication," Jones said about his new position.
Jones was a Smith County jailer for three years before becoming a patrol deputy. He also worked as a jailer in the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.
Jones was hired under former Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith. The current Smith County Sheriff, Larry Smith, says as soon as he took office he heard rumors about Jones dealing drugs.
"Until we were able to get someone to come forward and to substantiate that information, corroborate that information, about two months ago, that's when the investigation started going forward."
"It surprises me, yes, law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard, we all are," says Brent Chambers, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent for the FBI.
The FBI and Texas Rangers are assisting in this investigation.
Jones' arrest raises bigger questions for attorney's who have possibly worked cases Jones played a part in.
"I would feel like if he had any cases that all of them would be potentially tainted but I don't think that's the case though," Sheriff Smith says.
Defense attorneys are combing through their records, so is Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham.
"There may be some that the cases where his role was so substantial that the case is now in real jeopardy there may be some where he was out directing traffic where it doesn't affect the case," Bingham says.
So far, the District Attorney's Office says they have not found any cases Jones was involved in.
Sheriff Smith sat a fish bowl in the middle of the press conference table as a message to his employees.
"From 360 degrees people know who you are and what you're doing and you best represent the Smith County Sheriff's Office in a positive light. If you don't, you won't be here long."
Sheriff Smith fired Jones after his arrest and we found out his peace officer and jailer licenses have both been revoked.
Officials say Jones could face additional charges dealing with animals that were taken from his property Wednesday afternoon.