U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Louisiana
United States Courthouse
300 Fannin Street, Suite 3201
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101-3068
United States Courthouse
800 Lafayette Street, Suite 2200
Lafayette, Louisiana 70501-7206
For Immediate Release
January 14, 2009
Jim Letten, United States Attorney
Contact: Donald W. Washington
William J. Flanagan
Tanya Smith Sentenced on Federal Firearms Charges Related to Fatal Shooting of Two Bastrop Police Detectives
Defendant Still Faces State Murder Charges
Shreveport, Louisiana — TANYA MARIE SMITH, 25, of Mission, Texas, will spend the next 27 years in prison for federal firearms charges resulting from the August 2007 shooting at a Bastrop, La. motel that killed two local police detectives, United States Attorney Donald Washington announced today. United States District Judge Robert James imposed the statutory maximum of 25 years for the firearms charges and then added another two years for SMITH’s violation of supervised release on charges in the Southern District of Texas.
The shooting at the motel left SMITH’s boyfriend dead, and SMITH was charged with conspiracy and possession of six firearms by a convicted felon, including possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and possession of an unregistered shotgun with a barrel of less than 18 inches in length. SMITH was convicted of all charges except for possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. SMITH is also facing pending state charges of two counts of second-degree murder and eight additional gun and drug charges.
The two left Texas and arrived in Bastrop on August 5, 2007. A security camera at the motel where the shooting occurred captured the events that followed. At 1:30 pm on August 10th, Detectives Chuck Wilson and John Smith of the Bastrop Police Department arrived in relation to the investigation of stolen merchandise. The detectives knocked on the motel room door and SMITH answered the door. The detectives entered the room and were shot and killed by Clem. A few moments later, SMITH exited the motel room calmly and walked away. Clem was later killed in a shootout with other police officers arriving at the scene. A 9mm pistol and a .45 caliber pistol were recovered next to Clem’s body. Another 9mm pistol, a .12 gauge sawed-off shotgun with an obliterated serial number, a .22 caliber rifle, and a SKS assault rifle were recovered from the vehicle.
U.S. Attorney Donald Washington stated:
We continue to offer our condolences to the brave men who lost their lives in their encounter with SMITH and her violent companion. We pledge to continue to do all this office can to prevent violent crimes of the sort represented in this prosecution. When prevention efforts fail, we pledge to aggressively pursue and prosecute the perpetrators of crimes of violence prohibited by federal law.
Sentencing in federal court is determined by the discretion of federal judges and the governing statute. Parole has been abolished in the federal system.
This case was investigated by the Louisiana State Police, the Monroe Police Department, and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Shreveport Field Office, Special Agent T.J. Boddie, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Jarzabek.