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Oreth Smith Mugshot broward Sherrif's Office
April 01, 2017
Broward sheriff's jail deputy Oreth Smith, was arrested Tuesday after an internal investigation revealed he spent his work shift using his cellphone instead of conducting security checks and inmate head counts, according to an arrest affidavit.
The investigation into Smith’s conduct was started by an inmate complaining that Smith was “constantly” on his phone and it kept him from doing his job, according to an arrest affidavit.
His supervisors watched jail surveillance videos to confirm the allegations.
It's against the sheriff’s office policy for deputies to have personal cellphones in the jail.
Deputy Smith was suspended without pay and arrested on charges of bringing contraband into the detention facility and official misconduct.
He was released on bond. Records don't list an attorney.
The deputy was reassigned to restricted administrative duty July 25, 2016, as part of an investigation into how murder suspect Dayonte Resiles was able to escape from the Broward County courthouse.
"The public corruption investigation continues," Coleman Wright said. "So far, investigators have found no evidence connecting the deputy to the Resiles escape."
Officials said he wasn’t authorized to bring his cellphone to his desk at the housing unit of the Joseph V. Conte facility, which houses inmates awaiting trial.
He was charged with bringing contraband into a jail facility for the phone, as well as for a pizza BSO investigators said he shared with inmates.
Public corruption deputies investigated in July and found the deputy sat at his desk on his cell phone instead of completing physical site checks, cell inspections or headcounts.
Deputies said Smith filled out the jail information forms as if he’d done the checks.
He was arrested with a total of eleven charges. It’s not clear from court records if he posted a $7,500 bond for all the charges, or that amount for each of the counts.
According to the Sun Sentinel;
Smith was responsible for controlling the entry and exit of all doors within one of the jail units, as well as maintaining permanent logs and documentation of all significant events and activities within the unit, the arrest document said.
He was also in charge of the day-to-day operations within the unit, including feeding, inspections and the final head count, the document said.
“The final head count is an extremely important responsibility, in that it may identify an escaped inmate or an inmate that is [in] need of medical attention or even deceased,” the document said.
During the internal investigation, detectives were also looking into a possible link between Smith and murder suspect Dayonte Resiles’ escape from a Fort Lauderdale courtroom on July 15, 2016.
The Sun Sentinel reported previously that Resiles used Facebook from within the jail to plot his escape with alleged accomplices. Resiles said he sometimes used a Broward sheriff's employee's cellphone to go on Facebook.
According to a search warrant obtained by the Sun Sentinel in October, Smith had frequent contact with Resiles before the escape.
The deputy has been employed by the BSO since 2007.
This deputy was investigated and arrested by his own agency, The Broward Sheriff’s office.
When first elected a little over five years ago, Sheriff Scott Israel promised to bring transparency and public trust back to BSO. Since taking office he’s been keeping that promise. His public corruption unit has arrested more of his own deputies than all his predecessors combined.
He’s put in place a policy that states any shootings involving any BSO deputies will now be investigated by F.D.L.E. (Florida Department of Law Enforcement), a policy that other South Florida Police agencies have started implementing, long overdue, and in a monthly newsletter sent out by him in January of this year;
The sheriff stated in the letter:
“Changes within BSO will also continue to progress. Our proactive body-worn camera initiative will expand so that all uniformed law enforcement deputies will be equipped with body cameras by the end of 2017. The program is our most visible commitment to providing transparency and enhancing community trust.”
BSO has also sponsored several food giveaways to help the less fortunate in Broward.
South Florida Corruption.com