Law Enforcement: Drug War Takes Another Officer's Life

A Beckley, West Virginia, narcotics officer was shot and killed early Tuesday morning in an undercover drug buy gone bad, the Beckley Register-Herald reported Wednesday. Detective Cpl. Charles "Chuckie" Smith, 29, was hit by numerous gunshots as he attempted to make an arrest after a late-night crack cocaine purchase.

Two area men were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Smith's death and are at the Southern Regional Jail awaiting a bond hearing in Raleigh County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint filed against the pair, Smith contacted one of them to make a crack cocaine purchase, then met the pair near a Beckley night club. When one of the men delivered some rocks to Smith, he flashed his badge. One man ran, but the other pulled a gun and shot Smith multiple times.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, in the last decade, law enforcement officers have been killed at the rate of about 165 per year, with slightly more than half of those deaths due to accidents. The drug war takes the lives of about a dozen officers each year.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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