Alex Murdaugh, Curtis Edward Smith indicted on narcotics, conspiracy charges

Suspended South Carolina attorney Richard "Alex" Murdaugh and one of his alleged accomplices have been indicted on new charges that include narcotics-related crimes in a multi-county area.

On Tuesday, the State Grand Jury unsealed indictments on Murdaugh and Curtis Edward Smith, charging them with criminal conspiracy and narcotics offenses, while Smith was also indicted on additional charges.

Murdaugh and Smith were indicted together on two conspiracy counts, including a narcotics count related to Oxycodone. Smith was also indicted individually for four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, trafficking methamphetamine 10-28 grams, one count of unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of marijuana.

The joint portion of the indictment alleged that the two suspects used hundreds of illegal transactions "to facilitate the acquisition and distribution of illegally obtained narcotics" in a multi-county area.

The indictment out Colleton County, states that between roughly Oct. 7, 2013, and Sept. 7, 2021, Murdaugh, Smith and "other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury," did conspire to purchase and distribute Oxycodone.

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The joint portion of the indictment further alleges that Murdaugh and Smith conspired together to commit financial crimes between the dates of Oct. 7, 2013, through Feb. 28, 2021. During that time period, Murdaugh is accused of providing Smith with at least 437 checks totaling $2,413,754.79 with the understanding that Smith would convert the checks into cash and use a portion of the proceeds for Murdaugh’s benefit with the intent of carrying on and concealing "myriad unlawful activities."

Nearly all of the checks were written for amounts less than $10,000 in order to prevent banks from reporting the large currency transactions as required by law, the indictment adds.

Murdaugh drew the checks on accounts at multiple banks, and made the checks payable to various versions of Smith's name, as well as to close associates of Smith, including Smith's daughter and his girlfriend, without their knowledge. Smith then allegedly forged their names on the checks and cashed them at the Enterprise Bank of South Carolina, the indictment states.

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Smith, 62, was not previously indicted by the State Grand Jury.

Smith had previously been indicted by the Hampton County Grand Jury on Nov. 4, 2021, for false claim for payment, filing a false police report, conspiracy, pointing and presenting a firearm at a person, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and assisted suicide. Those allegations related to an incident on Old Salkehatchie Road on Sept. 4, 2021, in which Murdaugh allegedly orchestrated a fraudulent insurance scheme where he was reportedly shot and injured. Smith also had been previously indicted by the Colleton County Grand Jury on Nov. 18, 2021, for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana.

Smith was arrested and booked into the Colleton County Detention Center on Friday, June 24, according to detention center records.

Judge Clifton Newman set Smith’s bond at $250,000 and ordered house arrest and ankle monitoring during a hearing at noon Tuesday.

Altogether, through 16 indictments containing 81 charges against Murdaugh, the State Grand Jury has indicted Murdaugh for schemes to defraud victims of $8,492,888.31. Including the local indictments against him, Murdaugh is now charged with a total of 84 crimes.

This State Grand Jury investigation is being conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office. The case will be prosecuted by The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Murdaugh remains detained in the Richland County detention center on a $7 million bond.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Alex Murdaugh, Curtis Smith indicted on narcotics, conspiracy charges