Wednesday, February 26, 2014/lk
GRANGEVILLE – Washington State and the Idaho Department of Correction are vying for their share in the prosecution of an Orofino man currently awaiting trial in Idaho County on felony fraud charges.
And depending on that outcome, Jacob D. Smart, 28, could face more prison time as well as a “three-strike” penalty enhancement extending his incarceration up to his lifetime.
At a Monday, Feb. 24, preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court, Judge Jeff Payne found probable cause to bind over Smart to District Court on charges of possession of a fraudulently obtained financial transaction card (FTC) and unlawful use of a fraudulently obtained FTC, according to Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor. Maximum penalties are up to five years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
Smart is currently being held on a $50,000 bond in the Idaho County Jail awaiting a March 31 arraignment in this case, which stems from a July 15, 2013, incident at White Bird in which he is alleged to have used a fraudulently obtained FTC to purchase more than $5,000 in power tools.
In relation to this, last month Smart filed a $1 million tort claim against Idaho County alleging damages to his “personal and professional reputation and future employability” resulting from information provided by investigators for an Oct. 9, 2013, Idaho County Free Press news story on the case. Nampa attorney Bryan Knox is representing Smart in both his tort and criminal cases.
As Smart awaits a hearing in his Idaho County case, he is being held without bond on two unrelated convictions by both Asotin County, Wash., and the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC).
In the Asotin County case, Smart is being held on a bench warrant for failure to appear for sentencing following his conviction on two counts of trafficking in stolen goods and one count of second-degree theft, all felonies, according to MacGregor. An extradition hearing in this case is set for March 25 in Magistrate Court.
IDOC has Smart on a parole violation for his 2010 felony conviction out of Lewis County on charges of burglary (two counts), grand theft and petit theft. He already served his minimum 1.5-year sentence of a maximum five years in this matter, and MacGregor explained that as a result of this violation actions against Smart could be anywhere from ordering him back onto probation or to serve the remainder of his incarceration. An IDOC decision in this matter is set for mid-March.
But the potential penalties in this case aren’t through, as MacGregor – in addition to Idaho County’s two fraud charges – is seeking a persistent violator penalty enhancement, which if proved to the jury could add between a minimum of five years up to life on Smart’s sentence. It is uncommon for prosecutors to seek this penalty enhancement, he said.
“But we think in this case it’s necessary,” MacGregor said, due to Smart’s extensive criminal record.
For this enhancement a person must be convicted of three felonies within the state of Idaho. MacGregor explained in this case it would take convicting Smart on one of his two felonies, and establishing proof of two prior felony convictions.