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Dauphin County former GOP chair charged with federal crimes

Updated: Thursday, October 24 2013, 04:57 AM CDT
Posted by: Lauren Gross

HARRISBURG -- The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg returned an indictment today charging William Trickett Smith Sr., 76, with attempting to arrange a prison escape, lying to federal agents about it, and trying to persuade someone else to lie to federal agents.

The charges stem from events surrounding the arrest and extradition of the defendant’s son, William Trickett Smith, II. In 2007, Smith II was arrested in Pennsylvania and charged in Peru for the murder of his wife. Peruvian authorities sought his extradition.

The indictment alleges that during 2009 and 2010, Smith Sr. devised a plan to have his son escape from custody after Smith Sr. filed a false private criminal complaint by paying off a magisterial district justice to schedule a hearing that would require Smith II to be transported and paying off a constable who would be picked to transport him.

The indictment alleges that when the plan failed because the criminal complaint was not approved by the district attorney, Smith Sr. then allegedly devised another plan for his son’s escape by paying off a prison guard. That plan also failed because Smith II was moved to a different prison. The indictment alleges that in 2010, Smith Sr. lied about his plans and actions when questioned by the FBI and also tried to persuade another individual to lie to the FBI about Smith Sr.’s actions.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections-Office of Professional Responsibility and the Perry County Prison.Dauphin County former GOP chair charged with federal crimes

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