A handful of sheriff's officers took their usual post around the defendant's table in a Camden County courtroom Thursday morning, ready to protect, subdue or simply watch over whoever took the seat there.
This time, though, they were waiting for one of their own.
Officer Thomas W. Smith did not show up to court, though, and wasn't at his home later when another sheriff's officer showed up in a patrol car.
Smith, according to a letter written to his lawyer by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, was accused of taking drugs from the department evidence room, of which he was in charge, and giving them to several Camden prostitutes in exchange for sex, often in full uniform. The letter, obtained by the Daily News Wednesday, claimed that a lengthy investigation had uncovered phone recording and text messages between Smith and one woman, as well as statements from his peers and superiors.