My Camden County arrest record.

This is an exact copy of a post which orignally appeared on my blog on March 6th, 2008.

The true history of my Camden "arrest record."

Ladies and Gentlemen, To this day, the cowardly, lying, backshooting, anonymous Thuggie scum who publishes in support of Sheriff Bill Smith continues to attempt to foist off on the public the canard that I am after Bill Smith because of my bitterness over having been incarcerated in the county jail, twice. The intent to make the public think that I indeed committed a couple of crimes and was justly convicted and sentenced are clearly the lying, libeling, vermin's intent. Nothing could be further from he truth. When they succeeded in having me banned from Topix Kingsland, and perhaps more importantly to them, had all of the damning evidence against Smith erased, they no doubt thought that they had erased forever my explanation of the actual history of my "jail time." Not so: here, again, is my original explanation from the old "Recall Sheriff Smith" thread on Topix Kingsland. "Well – finally! I’ve been wondering why it took the beleaguered thugs so long to play what they consider their trump card. Careful what you wish for, fools. You see, decent, law abiding Ladies and Gentlemen, their flawed assumption is that once you learn that I have been arrested twice – and never convicted of squat – here in Camden County (and no where else on Earth, ever), you will discount my campaign to rid the county of its rogue, thug sheriff and such of his rogue underlings as clearly need to go as being merely sour grapes. Apparently, the fools have never heard the old lawyers’ dictum, “Never ask a witness a question to which you do not already know the answer.” Many of you will remember my first politically motivated false arrest in 1995. I was running for St. Mary’s City Council against incumbent Kyle Lewis. Actually, I was running against the entire Brandon machine, but Lewis, in particular. At any rate, about two or three weeks before the election, I was out putting up campaign signs. I put one up on the telephone pole in front of what used to be Reddick’s convenience store there across hwy 40 from Shadowlawn. When I passed back by a scant 20 minutes later, it was gone. I pulled in and asked the lady at the counter in the store if she had seen who removed it. She said I needed to talk to someone named “Jack” at the truss plant behind the store. As I went to walk back there, a pickup truck with two white, adult males and a 10-11year old boy pulled out and stopped suddenly right in front of me. The driver asked “What can I do for you?” I asked if he knew who had ripped down and destroyed my sign. Turns out the driver was one Jack Barfield, Jr., who managed the truss plant and rented the store from the late Mr. Reddick. Barfield hollered that he had and became very belligerent. He got so worked up that he flung open the door and jumped out. When I stood right where I had been, he suddenly found himself between me and the door of the truck. When he realized that I had 6 inches and 100 pounds on him, he altered his course of action and ran into the store. I immediately went to the phone and called 911 to request an officer on the scene. For all I knew the little thug was going after a gun. A county officer responded. (Note: Strangely, the road and right of way were in the city, but the actual store property was in the county – still is, I believe.) I told him what had gone on. Told him I had had hundreds of my signs ripped down (interestingly, most by the teenaged son of a former mill worker who is also now one of BTW’s deputies – I caught him red-handed) and that I was trying to put a stop to it. Barfield continued to rant and rave and act like he was on the urge of physical aggression. The officer asked me to write a brief description of what happened. I complied. He then told me that he would talk to Barfield about not tearing down any more campaign signs, but then asked that, in light of Barfield’s agitated state, I would go ahead and leave so that he might have a better shot at calming him down. I was NOT arrested, given a citation, or even so much as a cross word from the investigating officer. That was late on a Friday afternoon. I turns out that both Jack Barfield, Jr. and his dad were accounting and tax clients of my opponent, Kyle Lewis. Apparently, some heads were put together over the weekend. Bright and early the next working day, Jack Jr. and the other guy in the truck drove up to Woodbine to the office of the now deceased Chief Magistrate Joe Strickland, an old buddy of Kyle Lewis and cat’s paw for Sheriff Bill Smith, who was a campaign advisor to Kyle Lewis. The lying bastard Jack Barfield, Jr. (someone please be sure to let him know I wrote that) perjured himself by swearing out an affidavit that during the aforementioned confrontation, that I had brandished a pistol. The lying redneck friend also perjured himself. “Judge” Strickland was of course delighted to be able to issue a warrant for my arrest. Immediately upon getting wind of the warrant, I called and found out that the bail was, near as I recall, $300.00. I went straight to an ATM, withdrew $300.00 and drove immediately to the jail in Woodbine, where I turned myself in, as any decent, law abiding, and totally innocent citizen would do. Before they had even put my finger to the inkpad, a deputy came in and told the guy processing me that he had just received a call from “the Major” telling them to make my booking a “quick and painless as possible.” I was well treated and in and out in less than 30 minutes. I never spent a nano-second in a cell. I was told late that “the Major” was Maj. Dayton Gillette, who then ran the 911 center, and not too very long thereafter had a split with BTW. Now, in those days, the T&G was only published on Wednesdays. The Friday before the Tuesday election, the DA’s office announced that they were dropping the charges for lack of evidence of any crime having been committed. Of course, that info did not hit the press until the day after the election. The entire county recognized it for what it was – a low down, filthy dirty, politically motivated false arrest. Of some 600 votes cast, 125 good souls recognized it as such even before the dismissal and voted for me anyway. I later learned from my attorney that what actually happened is that the DA summoned Mr. Barfield, Jr. up to his office. He pointed out that the police report, complete with accompanying contemporaneous statements from me, Barfield, and his redneck buddy made no mention of a gun whatsoever. Barfield was then counseled as to the possible consequences of a conviction for perjury and filing a false report. Barfield declined to press the issue further. So, decent, law-abiding Ladies and Gentlemen, what say you: is that an arrest I should be ashamed of? Now, as to the second arrest – a legitimate but totally unwarranted arrest, complete with politically motivated harassment and deprivation of civil liberties. I believe it was February of 2001. For about 6 months, ending in late August of 2000, I had a crack at driving tractor-trailers across the USA east of the Mississippi and into Canada for Schneider trucking. Closest thing to legalized white slavery in America today. About a month or so before I decided trucking was not for me, I got a bogus traffic ticket from a local yokel cop from the tiny burg of Port Wentworth, GA, just over the I-95 bridge over the Savannah River. Never will forget the look on the officer’s face when I told him to tell his chief, Jimmy, that Jay said hello. He and wife, Dotty, had been insurance clients of mine. He was way more surprised when I told him I, unlike 99.9% of other truckers the little lying bastard was ripping off, would, in fact come back to court. So, a few weeks later, I did indeed show up at the municipal court in Port Wentworth where I demanded that my case be remanded to state court, because I wanted a platform to let someone know how they were preying on OTR truckers. Of course, the clerk of the P.W. court, shocked that I had demanded a remand, could not tell me a court date. Said to watch my mail. Well, a month went by, then 6 weeks. Nothing. I got on the phone to the clerk of state court in Savannah. I told the guy that I was concerned that I had not heard anything. He assured me that they were way backed up, that a delay of that length was not unusual, and to just keep watching the mail. And so, I did. Now, at that time I was working the 3-11 shift of a job in Jax. One Thursday night, my relief failed to show up. I worked a double, getting off at 0700 on a Friday. By the time I drove home, took care of some chores, and got a bite to eat, it was about noon when I hit the sack. I had not been down for 5 minutes when there came a loud knock on my door. When I opened then door (hidden behind it in my underwear), there stood a uniformed CCSO deputy with a warrant for my arrest. You guessed it – it was a warrant for my arrest for “failure to appear” in state court in Savannah the week before. I, of course, had never received anything in the mail announcing a court date. More on that later. The deputy – who had not nearly so much trouble finding me as BTW had finding his buddy, Dr. Ben Jenkins, twenty years ago – followed me back to my bedroom and watched me throw on some clothes, all the while hurrying me along. For some reason, I ended up grabbing a short sleeved cotton shirt in February – with no Tee-shirt. The officer noticed that on the back of my door, I had hanging a pistol target – one of those ones with the life sized silhouette of a thug with a pistol in his right hand. He noticed that the ten ring was virtually shot out of it. In a suddenly strikingly more friendly tone, he commented, “Hey, that’s some pretty good shooting. What do you shoot.” Caught off guard, I responded casually, “ A Paraordnance P-13 .45 – a nice gun.” Without thinking, as I was saying that, I was reaching for my pistol in my bedside stand drawer to show it to him. About halfway there, I froze. When I turned around and looked, he was stranding there with a very strange look on his face and his hand on his pistol with the holster unsnapped. That’s when it hit me that I was definitely in the hands of the old enemy. Having survived that near fatal near mistake, I was marched out to the back seat of the patrol car and hauled off down to the jail annex in Kingsland. Got there about 12:30 on a strategic Friday afternoon. Went through the usual booking procedures, which includes taking your wallet with all of your money, then had my shoes taken away and was locked into a holding cell, where the temperature had been chilled down to what felt like somewhere in the high fifties – literally. In this nearly bare cell, there was a microphone, a CCTV camera, and a telephone. I was alone in the cell. I immediately called my aunt and uncle in Savannah. Within an hour ( I verified with later calls) my bail money - $600.00, as I recall, had been received at the Western Union franchise up at Flash Foods on Harriets Bluff Road. But you know, it was the damnedest thing. In a department where everyone has a county car, no one could be spared to drive up to Harriet’s Bluff road and get the money so that I could be set free. So, by no later than 2:00 PM, all of my bail requirements had been met, if only the dirty, low down bastards would drive up there and get the money. Supper time came. I got a dry bologna sandwich and iced tea – not a lick of steak, quiche, or key lime cheesecake in sight. Right after supper, they brought in this poor black fellow who, odds on, was a schizophrenic off of his medication. By the way the staff called him by his first name and ridiculed and mocked the poor devil, I took him to be a regular. After having their thuggish fun with a poor devil that clearly should have been in route to a psychiatric facility or consultation, they locked him into the holding cell with me. Note that they put him in with a blanket around his shoulders to protect him from the cold the dirty bastards were deliberately subjecting me to. It was now the early evening of Friday. I had not slept since around noon on Thursday. I dozed off sitting bolt upright on the hard, cold concrete bench. The next thing you know, I awoke to find the clearly psychotic black prisoner standing directly in front of my face with his penis in his hand, getting ready to either urinate on me or commit sodomy. Now, remember, they are watching all of this on the monitor in the control room. My guess is that they had observed the poor devil engage in that sort of aberrant behavior during previous incarcerations. They likely put him in there in high hopes of him doing it to me. My guess is, the no good bastards probably still have the video among their favorite play list. I kept asking from time to time if they had yet been able to go to the store on Harriet’s Bluff to pick up my bail. No – they were still too busy – which they obviously were not. Then it happened, around 10:00 PM. Two of the evil bastards were out in the booking area just in front of the holding cell. Apparently, not realizing how well they could be heard in the holding cell (solid door with small, thick glass portal), one asked the other “Hey, man what’s the story on that Moreno guy – why is he still here.” The other replies, incredulously, “Oh, haven’t you heard. We’re supposed to make sure he stays in here over the weekend, then Monday, we’ll haul him up to Savannah. And that comes straight from the Big Boss, himself.” Obviously, Sheriff Bill Smith. I flew into a purple rage, cursing the low down, dirty bastards for all I was worth. I then got on the phone to my uncle again. Remember that the filthy, criminal bastards are monitoring everything I’m saying – and presumably my uncle’s end of the conversation. I told my uncle Harry what the vermin were pulling. He became highly pissed as well. I told him to get in his car, drive straight to Brunswick, meet with Judge Amanda Williams, and get a writ of habeas corpus. He said he would, immediately, and after that, he was personally driving to the jail to get some answers. We hung up. About two to three minutes later, the cell door swung open, and I was marched up to the glass window overlooking the control room. They gave me back my shoes and my wallet, but no money. When I asked how I was supposed to get home with no cash, they laughed and said that was my problem. When I asked, “What about getting my bail?”, it was, “Oh, yeah, we picked that up hours ago,” with big shit-eating grins all around. So at about 10:45 on a damned nearly freezing night in February, wearing only cotton work pants and a thin, cotton, short sleeved shirt, and not having slept in about 34 hours, I was shoved out of the door without a red cent to my name. This would be by the minions of the same son-of-a-bitch who retrieves convicted drug dealers from over 100 miles away and brings them home at county expense. But hey, he’s only a felon – not a political enemy. I had to walk all the way up to Winn Dixie, where I had to use my phone credit card to make a local call to a taxi company. From that exposure, I contracted a God-awful cold which caused me to miss work. Now, when I finally went to state court in Savannah, I first had to answer the charge of contempt of court by way of failure to appear. I told the judge the story of how I had come to acquire powerful political enemies in Camden due to my political activism and run for office, the false arrest in 1995, the abuses of BTW’s goons that Friday, and so on – much of it with printed documentation from news accounts. As to how I came not to receive the summons, I told him my theory. In a very unwise money saving move, the state court in Savannah had started using a post card style of notice – one that could be read in its entirety by everyone in the postal system who came in contact with it. I suggested that someone in the St. Marys post office made certain that I did not receive it, in eager anticipation of the grief it would surely bring me to. Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. One day, during the campaign of 1995, I stopped by St. Marys City Hall to ask then city clerk Gwen Mungin a question about campaign reporting. When I did not find her in her office, I went to the front desk to inquire as to her whereabouts. While I was waiting to be acknowledged, I observed a city employee, on the city clock, brazenly stuffing envelopes with Councilman Kyle Lewis’ campaign literature, I further noticed that they were being mailed in envelopes with the postage imprint of some non-profit organization. I quickly wrote down the identifying number assigned to that one particular organization. When I went to the St. Marys Postmaster and asked him, in person, to reveal the owner of that number, he refused, citing privacy concerns. With the help of a reporter friend, who gave me a copy of a booklet on everything you every wanted to know about freedom of information requests, I drafted one properly and returned to the postmaster. He VERY grudgingly an angrily revealed that it was none other than the good ol’ boys of the St. Marys Kiwanis Club – a political action committee flying false colors. So, was I surprised that someone purloined my notice to appear – not a bit. The judge obviously believed me. Not only did he dismiss the failure to appear charge, but, in an extraordinary gesture, he said that, in so far as it was in his power to do so, he would like to officially apologize for all I had gone through on behalf of the State of Georgia. Then, we got to the matter of the traffic ticket. Well, it turns out that the little weasel had been found out. The officer who wrote the ticket had simply failed to show up for work one day, left no forwarding address, and could not be found, despite the DA’s best efforts. My case, and all pending cases written by the weasel were dismissed. The judge dismissed my case with a second apology. So, decent, law-abiding Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, what say you: is that an arrest I should be ashamed of? Do my experiences related here ( may God strike me dead if they are not all true exactly as I have related them) leave you more or less inclined to return William E. Smith to the office of sheriff in ’08?"


2/7/10: Epilogue: Jack Barfield, Sr., the handyman for my builder, is now a friend of mine.