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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

Monday, May 13, 2013

Repeat Offender Sentenced To 13 Years For Distributing Crack Cocaine

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Damien D. Smith, 24, Madison, Wis. was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 13 years in federal prison for distributing crack cocaine. Smith pleaded guilty to this charge on February 15, 2013.

The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Vaudreuil, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge James Bohn, ATF Acting Resident Agent in Charge William Baudhuin, and Linda Ketcham of Madison Area Urban Ministry, at a press conference held today.

On November 8, 2011, Damien D. Smith, along with nine other offenders, participated in a “Notification”at the United Way in Madison. A Notification is a community presentation given to the most violent, repeat offenders in the Madison area. During the Notification the offenders are warned that their criminal behavior must cease or severe consequences will follow.

The offenders are also introduced to numerous community service members who offer priority assistance to the offenders and their needs. Also, a case worker from Madison Area Urban Ministry is assigned to each offender with the goal of matching any need an offender might have with a service provider. This crime prevention approach or philosophy is based on the concept of focused deterrence, a policing philosophy that has worked in reducing violent crimes in cities throughout the United States.

During the Notification, Smith was warned repeatedly by law enforcement officials that his conduct would be under a microscope and that it was his choice whether to change or re-offend. Despite these warnings, Smith rejected the assistance of the community service providers and chose to re-offend. Approximately four months after the Notification, Smith began delivering heroin and crack cocaine to an undercover officer. In total, Smith made five deliveries of heroin and one delivery of crack cocaine before he was arrested on probation violations. During the March 19, 2012 undercover buy, Smith told the undercover officer that his heroin was so good that people were always overdosing on it.

Judge Crabb reasoned that a lengthy sentence was needed due to Smith’s lengthy criminal history. Smith has seven prior felony convictions and numerous misdemeanor convictions, and for the purposes of federal sentencing guidelines, is considered to be a career offender. Smith was the first non-sex offender to be placed on GPS monitoring supervision by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, due to his history of violence and drug dealing. According to law enforcement, he is believed to be a member of the Mickey Cobras street gang. Moreover, at the time of this federal offense, Smith was on state probation for possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine.

The charges against Smith were the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison Police Department-Special Investigations Unit, Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Reinhard.

Updated July 14, 2015