News and Press Releases


March 22, 2013

Jackson, Miss - The criminal conviction of James Smith, former Director of Driver Records for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, was affirmed today by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis announced.

Smith’s appeal followed his conviction by a jury at the conclusion of a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III in August, 2011. Smith was found guilty of making false statements concerning commercial driver records that he altered using his authority as Director of Driver Records. The records were maintained in a database linked to the Commercial Driver’s License Information System, which Congress established so that records of commercial license holders can be accessible nationwide.

As Mississippi Director of Drivers Records from 2005 to 2010, Smith was responsible for overseeing records of persons holding commercial driver’s licenses and had the ability to access and change their driving records. He was found guilty of falsifying records for commercial driver’s license holders. In his appeal, Smith challenged the federal jurisdiction and the materiality of the false statements. The Court of Appeals rejected both of Smith’s claims on appeal. The Court determined that Smith’s manipulation of commercial driving records fell within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and that the changes Smith made to the driving records were material for the purpose of the federal false statement statute.

Assistant United States Attorneys Harold Brittain and Angela Williams were the prosecutors of the case in United States District Court. Assistant United States Attorney Gaines Cleveland handled the case on appeal.




Return to Top

Disaster Fraud Hotline

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:

(866) 720-5721

You can also fax information to:

(225) 334-4707

or e-mail it to:

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.