Smithville Police and Federal Agents Raid Local Business

May 14, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police Investigators and Federal Agents of the US Department of Treasury (IRS) raided a local business last Tuesday.

Smithville Police Chief Thomas J. Stufano says the business, known as Tienda Mexicano Sante Fe at 411 Short Mountain Road, has been under constant surveillance for the last three months by both agencies.

As a result of the investigation, Sandra Delafuente was charged with operating without a valid city occupational license to do business in the city. Other charges may be forthcoming.

Chief Stufano says \"Smithville Police had the business under investigation for approximately three months due to numerous citizens' complaints that official misrepresentations were being made to the Latin community. The business provides Notary, basic Administrative help for those needing help with Spanish translation. Citizens were complaining that representatives of the business were soliciting money from \"illegal aliens\" in exchange for Visa documents and \"Green Cards. Authorities also received complaints that representatives of the business were claiming to be attorneys and could secure immigration status for illegal's. A records check of the business with the Tennessee Department of Licensure did not show anyone having a valid law license to work in Tennessee.\"

Chief Stufano says \"Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service followed up with the investigation and found a variety of financial concerns with the business and its representatives. Agents raided the business confiscating files, computers and numerous documents. The business was then closed and posted with US Government Investigative Seizure placards. The case is continuing.\"

Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon 50 year old Forrest Byrd of 815 Dry Creek Road, Smithville was arrested for Sale and Delivery of Schedule III Narcotics and Public Intoxication. Chief Stufano says officers originally responded to the address on an unwanted guest complaint. Upon arrival they found Byrd heavily intoxicated and in possession of Hydrocodone tablets. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the DeKalb County Jail. His bond is set at $26,000.

On Monday morning, 30 year old Bridgette Judkins was arrested for Simple Possession of Narcotics and Driving on a Revoked License. Officers responded to a citizen's complaint of possible illegal narcotics activity in the area of Short Mountain Street and Highway 70. Upon arrival they met with Judkins. A records check disclosed Judkins had a Revoked Driver's license. Upon her arrest she was found to also have a bag of suspected marijuana on her person. Judkins was arrested and transported to the Police Department and released with citations to appear in court.

Chief Stufano says Smithville Police are committed to investigating all crimes committed within the city and greatly appreciate the active stance the citizens are taking in the Crime Watch Program. Due to concerned citizens tips and confidential information Smithville Police have been able to successfully resolve numerous investigations.

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