Man charged with selling fake drugs downtown; tried to eat the buy money

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Richard Smith, 53, is jailed in lieu of a $15,000 bond after police say he sold them fake drugs and then attempted to eat the money they used to buy the fake drugs with, in an attempt to destroy any evidence of the transaction.

Metro Nashville CSU Detectives conducted a buy/walk in downtown Nashville Tuesday. They came in contact with 53-year-old Richard Eugene Smith, and were sold what was alleged to be narcotics to an undercover police officer. Smith got into the passenger seat of a vehicle, which drove away from the location. A traffic stop was conducted, and Smith was detained. As police were detaining him, it became apparent Smith had put the buy money, and possibly narcotics, into his mouth, and was chewing the currency in an attempt to swallow it.

Richard Smith (MNPD)
Richard Smith (MNPD)

After refusing several commands to spit out the money, police grabbed his jaw and forced the removal of the money from his mouth before it was swallowed, which they say was because they were “afraid for the defendant’s safety” in a resulting police report. The substance sold to the officers tested negative for any narcotic, and a search incident to arrest yielded a glass pipe and chore boy under the seat of the vehicle. Smith is jailed in lieu of a $15,000 bond, charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, felony counterfeit controlled substance, and tampering with evidence.

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