Vista resident Gregory Dwight Smith, 47, was given credit for time already served and ordered into three years of formal probation in San Diego Superior Court on November 13.
Smith began his criminal history when he was 16 years old and has been in and out of prison at least nine times. In his most recent felony conviction, he admitted to three counts of attempted pimping, for which he could have gotten more than four years prison, according to plea-deal paperwork.
On November 22, 2013, Smith was arrested at La Quinta Inn in Vista, where he was staying in room 311, according to an investigators’ report. Three young women were questioned that day at the hotel.
Investigators seized nine cell phones and found text messages that included: “I’m done” and “My date will be here in 5 minutes” and “I got an hour long date showing up in twenty minutes.”
When questioned by deputies, one of the women said she gave Smith money for food and gas and the hotel room; another woman said she was “just trying to help him out” and that Smith was “watching my back.”
When sheriff’s deputies confronted him, “Smith denied being a pimp” and said the only reason his name was on the room registry was “because he needed a hotel room key,” an investigator stated.
The sting operation began when officers responded to advertisements on Backpage.com, and a woman advertised as “Unique” agreed to perform a sex act for $80. In another advertisement on the same website, a woman identified as “Leah” informed browsers that she was an “exotic blonde bunny and new bombshell in town” and provided photos of herself. Another woman who called herself “Harlie” promised “treatment for a king” and “I will help you unwind and it will be something you won’t soon forget”; she displayed photos of herself in lingerie.
In an interview, Smith denied pimping and reportedly said, “I have four daughters…why would I do this with these women?” Smith told an officer that he has been married for ten years and lives with his wife and her three daughters who are 14, 18, and 24; Smith reportedly has another daughter, 23 years old, from a previous relationship.
Prior felony convictions for Smith are listed in court documents as a burglary in 1986, armed robbery and assault in 1987, stolen vehicle in 1992, escape from state prison in 1993, human trafficking and false imprisonment in 1996, a drug felony in 1997, felony resisting arrest with violence in 2001, fleeing from officers with wanton disregard for public safety in 2004, another first-degree burglary in 2008, and another stolen vehicle in 2010. All the crimes were committed in San Diego County.
After his arrest last November, Smith bailed out May 9, 2014, after a $1000 fee was paid to the Bail Hotline to post his $10,000 bond. He has been at liberty since.
According to a probation report, Smith said he had used meth daily from age 13 until 43 and “he said he occasionally drank beer but not to excess.” Smith reportedly has kidney failure and is outfitted with a dialysis tube in his abdomen and requires daily treatment.
A probation officer stated in her report: “The defendant wants to raise his children, teach his son what it means to be a man, and control himself.”