COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A State Grand Jury on Tuesday indicted Alex Murdaugh and accomplice Curtis Edward Smith for criminal conspiracy and narcotics.
Smith, who was arrested in Colleton County over the weekend, has also been indicted for money laundering, forgery, and trafficking methamphetamine.
“Alex Murdaugh was indicted along with Curtis Edward Smith for two conspiracy counts including a narcotics count related to Oxycodone,” said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Smith, 62, was also indicted 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.
A State Grand Jury and a Hampton County Grand Jury previously indicted Smith in November for a slew of charges in connection with an attempted assisted suicide involving Alex Murdaugh that happened over Labor Day weekend in 2021.
Smith appeared in a Richland County courtroom Tuesday afternoon where Judge Clifton Newman handed down a $250,000 surety bond and ordered Smith to periodic drug testing and GPS monitoring.
The latest round of indictments spans roughly eight years, laying out money laundering, forgery, and drug operations between October of 2013 and September of 2021 between Smith, Murdaugh, and potentially others. The indictments show Murdaugh wrote 437 checks to Smith totaling more than $2 million which were cashed in small increments of less than $10,000 to avoid detection and were used for various criminal activities. Smith is accused of forging the checks on behalf of himself, his daughter, and his girlfriend while also keeping some money and using some for drugs. In court, Smith says he was unaware of what was going on.
“I don’t have any money,” says Smith. “All the money that Mr. Waters talks about, Alex Murdaugh got all of that, I didn’t get none of it. I don’t have any money, all I have is my disability I live off of, that’s it. I look forward to clearing my name.”
The state argued despite Smith’s claim, they believe he was fully aware of what was going on.
“His involvement in this conspiracy is extensive and is longstanding and for that, the state is concerned about his risk of flight, is concerned about his association, and is certainly concerned about his appearance at trial,” says Creighton Waters, Prosecutor for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
The charges also allege Murdaugh, Smith, and potentially others were involved in an Oxycodone, Meth, and Marijuana drug operation, selling and purchasing drugs. Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon says given the scale of the allegations, he believes more developments could be coming.
“Now he is alleged to have been involved in a lot of major drug crimes with another and my expectation would be given the scale here that’s being alleged there would have to be others who would necessarily be involved with either selling these drugs or being involved with obtaining them,” says Condon. “One can only speculate where this might go.”
Information on the indictment is provided below as written by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office:
In Indictment 2022-GS-47-10, venued in Colleton County, the State Grand Jury alleges a Criminal Conspiracy regarding approximately 437 checks totaling approximately $2.4 million that went from Murdaugh to Smith from October 7, 2013 through February 28, 2021. The two were also indicted in an alleged conspiracy regarding the distribution and purchase of Oxycodone. Smith is indicted for four counts of Money Laundering over $100,000 regarding the alleged disposition of the checks. The State Grand Jury also charged Smith with Forgery for allegedly forging endorsements on some of the checks. Smith is also indicted for three other drug offenses, including allegedly trafficking over ten grams of methamphetamine.
The crimes charged in the indictments carry the following classifications and penalties:
- Criminal Conspiracy is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000
- Money Laundering – Value $100K or More, is a felony punishable by up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount at issue
- Forgery, Value $10K or More, is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine in the discretion of the court
- Forgery, Value $10K or Less, is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison or a fine in the discretion of the court
- Manuf. Dist. Possess Narcotic – Schedule II, is a felony punishable up to 2 years in prison or a fine up to $500
- Trafficking Methamphetamine, is a felony punishable by 3-10 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000
- Possession of Controlled Substance – Schedule II, is a felony punishable by up to 6 months in prison and/or a fine up to $1000
- Simple Possession of Marijuana, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison or a fine between $100 and $200
Murdaugh faces 16 indictments containing 81 charges. The State Grand Jury has indicted Murdaugh for schemes to defraud victims of $8,492,888.31.
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.