Will County correctional officer charged with murder solicitation

April 1

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas announced today that a correctional officer who worked at the Will County Adult Detention Facility has been arrested and charged with Solicitation Of Murder For Hire.

The arrest of Correctional Officer Keith A. Smith, 29, of 907 Prescott Drive, Joliet, is the culmination of a weeklong joint investigation conducted by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Will County Sheriff’s Department. 

Smith was taken into custody without incident by FBI agents on Wednesday afternoon. He was arrested after he traveled to Hammond, Ind., to meet with an undercover FBI special agent posing as a prospective hit-man.

Smith is alleged to have enlisted the help of a Will County Adult Detention Facility detainee to hire the hit-man. The intended victim was the boyfriend of Smith’s ex-girlfriend. Smith allegedly offered to pay $1,800 for the murder of the boyfriend.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office on Thursday morning filed a formal charge of Solicitation Of Murder for Hire, an enhanced Class X Felony that carries a mandatory prison sentence of between 20 and 40 years upon conviction.

A Will County judge set bond at $2 million Thursday afternoon. Smith must post $200,000 to secure his release while awaiting trial.

“Once these allegations were brought to our office, I immediately enlisted the assistance of Sheriff Kaupas and the FBI to bring this sensitive investigation to a successful conclusion,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Their skillful handling of this case secured operations at the Will County Adult Detention Facility and resulted in the arrest of the defendant.”

Sheriff Kaupas said: “It gives me no pleasure in making this release. It’s very disappointing to me and members of the Sheriff’s Department that a fellow employee crossed over the line. The satisfaction is that this investigation came to a successful conclusion with no one being harmed.”

Smith has been employed at the Will County Adult Detention Facility since October of 2007. Correctional officers are hired through a Merit Commission review process that involves rigid professional testing and extensive psychological testing. The Will County Adult Detention Facility is nationally accredited by the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. 

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.