August 8, 2013 10:01:50 AM
Robert Earl Smith Jr. was arrested Friday night and charged with driving under the influence.
The 36-year-old son of Mayor Robert Smith was arrested after he was observed driving recklessly in front of Club Heidiho in East Columbus, according to witnesses that were at the scene.
After Smith was pulled over by a Columbus police officer and asked to step out of the car, officers noticed a handgun on the car's console and an assault rifle under the driver's seat. Smith has a permit to carry both weapons.
Smith has been arrested before. He was arrested in May of 1997 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, a felony. He was arrested again five months later for felony possession of cocaine, as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Smith's felony record was expunged, according to Teresa Barksdale of the Lowndes County Circuit Court.
Although it is illegal for a felon to be in possession of a firearm, the expungement of Smith's felony conviction allowed him to possess a weapon.
Another of the mayor's sons, 24-year-old Orlando Smith, was in the car at the time of Robert Earl Smith Jr.'s arrest. Orlando Smith was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, a misdemeanor.
The Lowndes County Adult Detention Center nor the Columbus Police Department could provide a record of what Orlando Smith was originally arrested for.
Robert Smith Jr., and Orlando Smith were released on bond.
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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