Smith arrested again, charged with felony possession, misdemeanor traffic violations

Embattled Gordon County Board of Education member Ricky E. Smith has been arrested again, booked in Gordon County Jail at press time, on felony charges of possession of Schedule IV and V controlled substances and misdemeanor traffic violations.

According to the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, Smith was arrested late Sunday night, June 18 and booked into the Gordon County Jail shortly after 1 a.m. on Monday, June 19 following a minor traffic offense in Calhoun.

A deputy ran a check of Smiths’ driver’s license after pulling him over for a minor traffic offense, which revealed the license was suspended. The arresting deputy, according to GCSO, also found a container of what is believed to be Schedule IV and Schedule V prescription drugs in the car. Smith was arrested without incident.

At press time, Smith was charged with felony possession of Schedule IV controlled substance, felony possession of Schedule V controlled substance, and misdemeanor charges of possession of Schedule IV controlled substance, driving while license suspended and obeying traffic control devices.

Gordon County Schools released a statement concerning the most recent arrest.

“Gordon County Schools has been made aware of the recent arrest of Ricky E. Smith. Because Mr. Smith is a constitutional officer, elected by the voters of Gordon County, the Gordon County Board of Education has limited authority over Mr. Smith’s position on the Board of Education. As the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office completes its investigation, we will update the community on any information related to or impacting the Board of Education and Gordon County Schools.”

This newest arrest comes as Smith is awaiting trials in both Gordon and Whitfield Counties after an August 2016 incident where he was arrested on felony charges of financial transaction card theft, financial identity fraud and misdemeanor charges of theft by taking.

Smith was indicted in Gordon County in March of this year on 19 total counts, including seven counts of financial transaction card theft, nine counts of identity fraud and a count each of theft by taking, criminal trespass and influencing a witness. The indictments stem from his arrest on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 after a theft of currency and credit cards was reported from a private residence in the Red Bud community. The theft was reported on Aug. 12, 2016.

In Gordon County Superior Court in March, it was discovered that sometime between Aug. 5 and Aug. 17, 2016, Smith obtained without consent, the wallet of Linda Joy Poole from a home in the Red Bud community. According to court documents, Smith received an American Express Blue Card, an American Express Green Card, a Macy’s credit card, a Kohl’s credit card, a Bank of America debit card and two Fidelity credit cards without Poole’s consent with the intent to fraudulently use the cards. The documents also state that Smith “did willfully and fraudulently possess with intent to fraudulently use” a State of Georgia Driver’s License and a Social Security Card, both belonging to Poole.

Smith was also indicted on a count of theft by taking for taking approximately $200 in U.S. currency, a count of criminal trespass due to taking the wallet without authorization, and a count of influencing a witness, where, according to the indictment, Smith sometime around Aug. 15, 2016, did “knowingly use intimidation towards Linda Joy Poole, a witness, to investigator Mike Hill, a law enforcement officer, relating to the commission of a criminal offense” by contacting Poole and “Demanding that she get criminal charges dropped regarding the taking of her wallet and its contents and the unauthorized use of her financial transaction cards” in the wallet.

Smith’s next court date for the financial card transaction case in Gordon County is scheduled for Aug. 14. Smith’s case in Whitfield has been continued multiple times, with his next court appearance for a calendar call scheduled on July 31.

Smith was still being held in Gordon County Jail at press time.