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Damaging testimony in Smith trial

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Posted: Oct 24, 2011 6:19 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Oct 24, 2011 6:38 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: baton rouge, port allen, police chief, fred smith, corruption, trial, testimony, federal, racketeering, bribery, wbrz, louisiana

BATON ROUGE-- Port Allen Police Chief Fred Smith's family prayed aloud during testimony from undercover FBI Operative William Myles.

Myles used a stopwatch to illustrate to the jury during an audio recording that it took just one minute and 38 seconds after first meeting Smith for Smith to begin discusing what Myles called bribes.

The same night, Myles said Smith accepted a pricey dinner at Drago's in New Orleans, a suite at the Ritz Carlton, and $300 in cash.

"It's beautiful! I can't help but be happy," Smith is captured on audio tape exclaiming when he opened the envelope with the money.

In exchange, prosecutor Corey Amundson told jurors Smith ran license plates and gave confidential criminal history of six people to Myles. Smith is caught on tape telling Myles "I fix tickets," adding Troop A tickets are his specialty.

Still, in early conversations, jurors heard Smith hesitate to accept money from Myles.

"You don't owe me nothing man," Smith told Myles after a weekend trip to a Marksville casino. Before that trip, however, Myles was caught on audio tape asking for $600 or $700 for the weekend.

When Myles offered $1,000 for the trip, Smith said that would be fine.

"Might have to kind of brush down on my little lady. I know she like to do the little casino," Smith said on tape.

In another instance, Smith took $1,000 in cash from Myles and two Lakers tickets, adding "I wonder if Halle Berry would go with me. I'm a player now."

Smith looked uncomfortable and fidgeted as he watched and listened to himself on tape.

Smith's attorney, J. David Bourland, said Smith was entrapped by agents who asked him over and over to give him gifts.

Former Port Allen Mayor Derek Lewis is slated to testify this week. He pleaded guilty to racketeering and fraud charges in June.

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