Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Dennis Lawrence Smith was sentenced to serve 60 years through a plea agreement for selling cocaine and marijuana to a confidential informant. The last ten years of his sentence will be suspended and Smith will be placed on probation following his release from custody.
The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department Narcotic’s Unit began making a series of undercover narcotics purchases from Smith in February of 2013. Smith was a known drug dealer who was supplying large amounts of drugs in the Sandhill community. In each of the sales the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department used a confidential informant who was wired with a video recorder and was provided with several hundred dollars of buy money. The confidential informant then drove to the home of Smith where the sales occurred.
On April 4, 2013, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search warrant at Smith’s home following half a dozen drug buys by the confidential informant. During their search of the home deputies found cash, four grams of crack cocaine, several ounces of marijuana, a set of electronic scales and a bag containing a wooden pipe and assorted drug paraphernalia.
Smith was arrested at the time of the search and taken to the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department. The two children in the home at the time of Smith’s arrest were removed by DHS and placed in the care of their grandmother.
Guest stated, “Smith was not only a major supplier of narcotics in our community but he was also selling drugs out of his home with two young children present. In reviewing the video footage of the sales children can be clearly seen as Smith is weighing out drugs to sale to the informant. Smith had dedicated his life to the distribution and the sale of drugs to anyone who would purchase them and he was doing so in the presence of these young children.”
Guest added, “We will continue to work with law enforcement to arrest and prosecute drug dealers and to protect our children from growing up in homes where drugs are openly sold. Drug dealers like Smith are one of society’s greatest problems – and they are not welcome in Madison or Rankin Counties. They are the ones who sell drugs that breakup families and lead to other serious crimes in our community.”
Guest concluded, “Sheriff Bailey and the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department did an outstanding job putting this case together and because of their hard work and dedication a major drug dealer is off our streets and two young children who were forced to reside in a home were drugs were routinely sold will have a chance to live a normal life.”
Smith has been previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance and felony dog fighting.
Name: Dennis Lawrence Smith
Address: Brandon, Mississippi
Date of Birth: 11/15/64