Ex-CIA agent accused of smuggling pot in plane used for humanitarian missions

A man who once provided protection for the vice president of the U.S. has been arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs.

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WSOC-TV dug through the former U.S. Navy SEAL and CIA agent's history and found he also worked for a Charlotte security company.

J.D. Smith flew marijuana across state lines and made a lot of money doing it, according to the criminal complaint.

The 13-page criminal affidavit put together by the Drug Enforcement Administration explained how three men coordinated drug deliveries across state lines.

Over a three-year period, Smith brought 1,500 pounds of marijuana in shipments to Carl and Bryon Rye, the complaint states.

Agents found out Smith would fly to Columbia, South Carolina.

He purchased his plane under the business name The Praetorian for use in medical humanitarian missions in Central America.

Last summer, agents found Smith delivered duffel bags of marijuana to Carl and Bryon Rye near Columbia, where the men dropped them off at a storage facility.

In April, agents said Bryon Rye picked up more pot from Smith in Westminster, Maryland, and drove it back the Columbia, where it was placed in two storage units.

Agents searched the units and found vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana stored in deep freezers.

The bags were labeled "medical cannabis."

The security company, Trident Crisis Management Group, has a website on which it labeled Smith as an employee who had been a Navy SEAL and a CIA agent who had provided security for a vice president.

An official with the company, who was aware of Smith's arrest, said Smith hasn't worked with the company in about five years.

Agents seized $185,000 that was supposed to be delivered to Smith.

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