ALBANY A judge ordered sobbing and crying 27-year-old former Dougherty County Jail guard Granvil Smith to serve five years of a 10-year sentence in prison Wednesday.
Smith’s sentence followed his guilty pleas to possession of Oxycontin and Xanax, violating a public officer’s oath of office and misdemeanor reckless conduct.
Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall did not soften the blow, saying that the bar for behavior is higher for law enforcement officers who have sworn to protect the public.
“This is all about Mr. Smith or arrogance and ego. He thought he was smart enough to pull it off and get away with it,” Marshal said. “You have given inmates a reason to distrust law enforcement, the court and the whole legal process.”
Marshall then sentenced Smith to at least five years in prison on each of three counts to be served concurrently. Because a 16-month-old child was present during the drug deal, the judge gave 12 months concurrent on the misdemeanor.
Once Smith is released from prison, he must not violate the terms of his five-year probation, or he will be returned to prison to serve the remaining time.
Assistant District Attorney Brumby Montgerard had asked for a three- to five-year sentence. But Dougherty County Sheriff’s Col. John Ostrander, the jail’s director, said he liked the tougher sentence.
“I am pleased with the sentence. In law enforcement we have volunteered to live to a higher standard,” Ostrander said. “Once someone betrays their oath, it reflects on all of us. We have to carry the public trust.”
Smith was arrested with his brother, Jamal Smith, in May 2010 attempting to sell drugs to undercover Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit agents. Jamal Smith’s case has yet to be tried.
According to courtroom testimony: The brothers’ mother dated a drug dealer who left the prescription painkiller at her home.
Granvil and Jamal Smith hit on the idea of selling the drugs. A jail guard at the time, Granvil Smith asked an inmate if he would like to buy the drugs. The inmate was a CI, or confidential informant. While the inmate declined the drugs, he told Granvil Smith he did have friends who wanted to buy them.
The inmate helped set up a meet to buy the drugs on the 400 block of West Oglethorpe Boulevard.
Jamal Smith, who had the drugs with him, drove a white Chevrolet Impala to pick Granvil Smith up at the jail. Granvil Smith jumped into the Impala wearing his uniform. The brothers picked up an unidentified woman and the child on the way to the drug sale meeting.
The brothers were arrested by waiting undercover Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit agents at the meeting.
Before he was sentenced, friends spoke to the judge on Smith’s behalf and said they hoped for probation.
Outside the jail courtroom after sentencing, the four friends shed tears. One had vulgar epithets for the judge and an Albany Herald reporter.