POSTED: Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 7:40am
UPDATED: Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 9:54am
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — A Smith County Patrol Deputy has been arrested for drug trafficking.
According to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, deputy Kimbrick Bernard Jones, 38, was arrested around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday at the Smith County Jail.
Jones was on duty when he committed the alleged crimes, including selling drugs from his county patrol unit.
Sherriff Larry Smith told KETK he heard rumors that Jones had been selling crack cocaine while on duty.
"We got enough information on him two months ago to begin an investigation," said Smith. The investigation included officials with the Sheriff's department, as well as the Narcotics Unit, FBI, and Texas Rangers.
"These are only accusations at this time and we have full trust and confidence in the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Texas to move this case forward through the criminal justice system," said Sheriff Smith.
Sheriff Smith said that Jones is currently being interviewed and the investigation into his past activities is continuing.
Jones worked for the Smith County Sheriff's Office on two separate occasions dating back a number of years in both the jail and patrol divisions.
Jones is now in federal custody. His employment with the Smith County Sheriff's Office was terminated immediately.
"Law enforcement officers with the Smith County Sheriff's Office were put on notice by me on January 1 of this year that they will be held to a higher standard than the general public," Sheriff Smith said. "This is necessary for anyone who is tasked with enforcing the law and who expects to gain the trust and support of the community we serve. This administration has zero tolerance when it comes to the employees violating the law and violating the trust of the Smith County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Smith County."
Jones is expected to appear in federal court at 3:00 on Wednesday afternoon.
U.S. Attorney John Bales said, “The allegations of drug dealing set out in the complaint are, alone, extremely serious and deserving of investigation. However, the fact that the accused individual is a sworn peace officer makes this case urgent, and we will apply all of our available resources to resolve the matter. I appreciate and commend Sheriff Larry Smith’s vigilance and cooperation in what is a difficult situation. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is a proud and distinguished law enforcement organization and it will only become stronger as it works through this case with the Texas Rangers and the FBI.”
"I hope and pray this to be the last of any such incident of this nature by an employee of the Smith County Sheriff's Office," Smith said. "If we are faced with similar situations in the future, let it be known that we will not rest, we will not give up and we will not fail to bring to justice any person with similar disregard for the office they have sworn to uphold. Citizens deserve prompt, courteous response to all calls for assistance; well-prepared officers and investigators who treat each and every crime with the importance it deserves; customer service delivered with a sense of business urgency; a law enforcement team with the right support, the right tools, and the mindset to serve with dignity, honor, and respect for citizens and the rule of law."
If convicted, Jones faces up to 20 years for each drug distribution violation and a minimum of five years for a firearms violation.