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Former Aiken Deputy Coroner Jailed for Taking Prescription Drugs from Death Scenes


A former deputy coroner in Aiken County was jailed Monday following a SLED investigation that found he allegedly took prescription drugs from the scene of death investigations.

Alton Jeffrey Smith, 60, was charged with misconduct in office and possession of a controlled substance.

According to SLED documents, Smith was acting in his official capacity from Sept. 22, 2018 through June 10, 2023, when he collected prescription drugs from death scenes.

“Smith was supposed to document any medications seized from death investigations he response to,” a warrant says. “Smith did not document the seizure of medications from (two) residences.”

Aiken County deputies were tipped off to the crime last summer and responded to Smith’s residence, which is listed in booking records as 178 Griffin Avenue in Aiken. That’s where the found Percocet EQ, Oxycodone-Acetaminophen and Zolpidem Tartrate. Also, an unknown bottle of blue pills labeled with GG258 was located with the labeled bottles and identified as Alprazolam, a warrant says.

“None of these prescription medications were prescribed to Smith or anyone living in the residence,” the warrant says.

The arrest comes nine months after he resigned after being placed on administrative leave. In August 2023, authorities said they found several pill bottles and medication in his home and in a shed in the back yard. The case was turned over to SLED.

Coroner Darryl Ables was the complainant in the initial sheriff’s report on June 10, 2023, which led to the search of Smith’s home.

Smith has been released from the Aiken County Detention Center on bond.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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