The Presumption of Stupidity: FL Lawyer is Arrested for Smuggling a Cell Phone into the Lake Mary Jail for an Incarcerated Client
Meet Florida lawyer Marlon Alphanso Smikle (or is that soon-to-be-EX-Florida-lawyer Marlon Alphanso Smikle?). Either way that’s his mug shot below…..
Pursuant to an arrest warrant Seminole County, Florida Deputies arrested Smikle on Monday, March 16th, 2015 for introduction of contraband into a correctional facility (Florida Statute 944.47(1)(a)(6) specifically delineates cellphones as contraband and subjects violators to up to five (5) years in state prison). Smikle insists that “It definitely did not happen”, but the circumstantial evidence suggests otherwise. I’ll lay it out (just as it was reported by the Orlando Sentinel and is alleged to to have been stated in the arrest warrant – which I have not read) and then you, dear reader / potential juror, can reach your own conclusion (although I submit that based upon the reported facts…):
1. Smikle represented a guy named Donald Mitchell, 38 years old, in a Lake Mary (which is in Seminole County, FL) auto theft case.
2. Mitchell was incarcerated in the Lake Mary Jail.
3. On February 27, 2015 in a recorded jail telephone conversation Mitchell tells Smikle that “You have to listen, we need a no-contract six”. During this recorded phone call Mitchell is also heard stating that he needed a charger.
4. Two (2) days later, on March 1st, 2015 Smikle happened to purchase a new iPhone 6 at a Sanford, FL AT&T store.
5. That same day (March 1st) jail surveillance video shows that Smikle visited Mitchell for a whomping seven (7) minutes.
6. Later that same day phone records show that several calls were made from that iPhone.
7. During a March 6, 2015 cell inspection corrections officers found a gold and white iPhone 6
“clutched in [Mitchell’s] armpit”. They also found an iPhone charge cord inside of a sock, a Blue Tooth ear device inside of a pair of thermal leggings and a multi-phone charger inside of Mitchell’s jail cell.
8. The serial number of the iPhone found on Mitchell on March 6th matched the serial number of the iPhone that Smikle had purchased on March 1st.
9. The statute which essentially makes bringing a phone into a jail a felony offense does not require that the phone be tendered, delivered or otherwise given to an inmate; rather it plainly makes it a crime to “Except through regular channels as authorized by the officer in charge of the correctional institution… to introduce into or upon the grounds of any state correctional institution… Any cellular telephone or other portable communication device intentionally and unlawfully introduced inside the secure perimeter of any state correctional institution without prior authorization or consent from the officer in charge of such correctional institution.“
So? What is the verdict? Remember, pursuant to the 5th Amendment, all persons arrested in the US of A are presumed innocent until proven guilty. But, when the person arrested is a duly licensed lawyer, and when that lawyer is charged with introduction of contraband (to wit: a cell phone) into a correctional facility, and when that phone is found in that lawyer’s client’s cell, particularly with a slew of accessories, and when all of that is coupled with the recorded phone call wherein the client requests such a late model phone, well, instead, I submit that we’re looking at a Presumption of Stupidity.
Marlon Alphanso Smikle will get his day in Court. Perhaps he can call Donald Mitchell as a character witness.
Michael A. Haber, P.A.: Creative, effective and zealous criminal defense advocacy since 1991.
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