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SWAT Team Serves Search Warrant at House of Man at Center of Puppy-Shooting Controversy

| March 4, 2016

A small SWAT team and detectives served a warrant at 31 Lago Vista Place, where a man at the center of a controversy over a little after 3 p.m. today. (c FlaglerLive)

A small SWAT team and detectives served a warrant at 31 Lago Vista Place, where a man at the center of a controversy over a little after 3 p.m. today. (c FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 5:15 p.m.

A day after the completion of a necropsy of the puppy found dead with apparent bullet wounds in Palm Coast’s W Section last week, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon served a search warrant at the house of Miles Smith, at 31 Lago Vista Place.

Smith, 31, had taken ownership of the dog three weeks ago from his neighbor, who say he shot the dog last week and sent them a picture of it, lying dead in his bathtub. Though he changed his story several times in an interview with FlaglerLive, he acknowledged texting the image, but only out of concern, and to inform his neighbors about the dog’s fate. He denied shooting it or harming it in any way. He said the dog had been hit by a car. (See details of that interview and background on the story here.)

A so-called mini-SWAT team was used to serve the warrant. Neighbors say the SWAT team used loudspeakers to announce themselves several times, and a ram-rod to break down the door. Smith had said in an interview earlier this week that he would not be speaking with police, and had ended an encounter with a deputy last week by walking back into his house.

“We are executing a search warrant,” Jim Troiano, the sheriff’s chief spokesman, said this afternoon. “The mini SWAT team was used to ensure the protection of our people based on information we’ve received so far in this investigation. We didn’t want a situation to become high-risk.”

Though Smith denies it, his neighbors say he has guns and shoots them often.

“We had a quiet neighborhood up until five months ago when he moved in,” one neighbor, an older woman who lives two doors down from Smith, said. “I have heard them off and on,” she said of Smith’s alleged guns.

“He’ll shoot them off in the backyard. Bang, bang, bang,” another neighbor, who lives further down the street, said.”

The cul de sac has been busy with reports of criminal mischief to the sheriff’s office. Jim Canfield, the former mayor of Palm Coast, lives across the cul de sac from Smith’s house. Last month he said a brick was thrown through his car window, which he has since repaired. Of Smith, Canfield said today, “he’s very smart. He does a lot of things that you can’t prove he’s doing.”

Next door to Canfield, Jason Pellicer has had his SUV’s side and back windows shot out by BB pellets. The windows are still broken.

Smith said earlier this week he as not responsible for any such incidents.

Troiano said deputy Williams, who is in charge of the investigation, aided by others, will “search for items or items that are going to be or would be named in the search warrant.” But, he added, “There’s no arrest taking place.”

“Were not there executing an arrest warrant it’s only a search warrant,” Troiano said.

Asked if the necropsy of the puppy confirmed whether bullets were found in the dog, Troiano said: “I’m not going to be able to provide that information at this time as it’s part of the investigation.”

The timing of the search warrant and the completed necropsy may not be coincidental. If, in fact, the necropsy revealed evidence such as bullets, the search may be directed at firearms in the house, which could then be tied to the bullets found in the dog.

At 4:30 p.m., the search was still ongoing. Just after 4:30 p.m., in a wrinkle only Quentin Tarantino could have scripted, a UPS delivery truck pulled into the cul de sac, and a delivery man stood outside the house, holding a small, rectangular package for “M. Smith.” Briefly befuddled, the delivery man walked up to one of the detectives, who escorted him to the house. He made his delivery to Smith.

It was a video game.

At 5 p.m., detectives were seen hauling off two archive boxes’ worth of objects or evidence, some of it in bulging manilla envelopes, which they placed in the CSI truck. They ungloved themselves and sanitized their hands, their work apparently completed. At 5:08 p.m., the half dozen law enforcement officers who’d been involved in the search closed the door on 31 Lago Vista Place and began driving off, one vehicle at a time.

Smith had never made an appearance outside until, at 5:11 p.m., he trotted out, in a dark t-shirt and shorts, to hand the CSI investigator something. He then went back into his house. At 5:15 p.m., all law enforcement had cleared the scene.

ups delivery swat search

UPS delivery for Mr. Smith. (c FlaglerLive)


Detectives hauled off two boxes’ worth of what appeared to be evidence. (c FlaglerLive)

miles smith puppy

Miles Smith trotted out of his house just as the investigator were getting ready to leave, to hand the CSI investigator a piece of paper. He then went back into his house. (c FlaglerLive)

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25 Responses for “SWAT Team Serves Search Warrant at House of Man at Center of Puppy-Shooting Controversy”

  1. The Geode says:

    What a waste of money…

  2. Geezer says:

    Mr. Smith’s story gets fishier by the day. I’d venture to say that he’d give any fishmonger a run for his money.
    Soon the truth will come out.

    I lived (rented) on that block back in 1997 when I first left Brooklyn, NY. Right next door, the property owner’s
    daughter and her drug-addled friends peppered my front lawn with beer cans as a welcome gesture.
    We sorted that out the next morning…..Let’s just say that I never felt comfortable leaving that house.
    Silly me – I thought that it was an aberration. Little did I know that this would be the norm in the ensuing
    years since. I feel bad for the retirees on the block (Lago Vista Place).
    (not to mention all the good folks in PC) A lot of bad seeds everywhere.

    I’m glad I moved.

  3. concerned says:

    How is it a waste if they found something on the dog that could be tied to a weapon then this will rule this man out or get hid butt jails for shooting the Dog and in that case they should give him a trial and if convicted they should Shoot his ass and leave him laying to bleed out

  4. Nonya Business says:

    The Geode explain your statement. .

  5. Barry Hartmann says:

    We too are glad you moved Geezer! I have asked several times “please stop the negativity about Palm Coast”. Flaglerlive why do you let this continue?

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Barry, Geezer’s opinion is no less valid than anyone else’s for being perceived as negative. The comment section, a cesspool of degeneracy and negativity as it is, would be much poorer (if that’s possible) without Geezer’s wit.

  6. confidential says:

    We clean up our block from bullies that looked and acted just like the one mentioned here, intimidating their many elderly neighbors or families with children, around them. We did it by uniting our neighbors witnessing each incident and calling our sheriff that promptly showed up to resolve the issues and even taking some to jail in handcuffs. We even spend time in court as witness of the one’s bad enough to be taken to jail…and believe me works!
    These criminals moving among us need to be booted for good and can be done, if we all set our goals to materialize it because we all have rights.

  7. Igato Takalika says:

    A swat team? A necropsy for a dog? Who’s in charge Inspector Clouseau?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we can induce some reality show TV channel to pay a visit to Palm Coast. They may see many ripe opportunities to expand their industry here. No need to build another government building to encourage more job growth.

  9. Bc. says:

    Back were I came from(philly) we took care of clowns like him with neighbor justic. They either. Got with program real fast or moved real fast.


    I can see it now. “CSI-Flagler: Canine Victims Unit.”

    It would star Sam Shepard and Pit Bull.

  11. Mike says:

    The Geode shouldn’t have to explain his comment, as it should be pretty obvious. We are wasting the time of police officers, C.S.I. investigators, detectives, and S.W.A.T. members over the fact that a puppy was shot. All of that time translates to thousands of dollars, when more important things could be done. Why is this being treated as such a huge thing? It’s a dog, buy a new one, and get on with your life.

  12. ANONYMOUS says:

    If you knew about this guy you wouldn’t call this excessive. Nightmare of the neighborhood since moving in.

  13. Outsider says:

    @Barry Hartmann: I happen to agree with Geezer. I too felt let down by Palm Coast and moved out as a result. We built our dream house in Palm Coast, only to have them ignore their own building codes for a big box developer to build cheap homes all around us, and later when there was a major violation of their own city ordinances we were told to shut up and stuff it, because we were creating problems for their builder friends. I was warned by a city official to stop my demands to enforce their own rules, and that I was in physical danger if I proceeded further. I pursued my case in city council meetings, and I was told there was no way to enforce the ordinance I wanted them to enforce. So, for this and other reasons, I left Palm Coast. The downward spiral that the city finds itself in now at the hands of the likes of the above outstanding citizens is a better “Fuck you!” than any I could dream up. That place gets what it deserves, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

  14. Geezer says:

    To the folks who think it’s a waste of money to investigate the puppy’s murder:
    Do you really think that it’s just about money? You cite a waste of tax dollars,
    and another says to just buy an other dog.

    Do you want a person who does this sort of thing in your community to remain
    an unknown entity?
    OK, so you don’t care about the dog – you’re not a dog person – OK, check.
    But you’d be off your rocker with ANGER if some hood were driving around
    blowing out the windows of the cars in your area. You’d be calling out for blood!
    To you I say: “JUST GET THE WINDOWS REPLACED.” –Simple…
    No wasted tax resources, and NO INVESTIGATION.

    To me, a guy who loves animals, especially DOGS – I think that murdering a
    puppy is the work of a dangerous nut-job – worse than say, broken windows, or
    damaged property. It’s well worth an intensive investigation. There’s my 2 cents
    (not tax money, don’t worry).
    I may not be perfect (God knows), but at least I have a HEART.
    Animal cruelty is not OK.

    To my detractors with regard to “Palm Coast negativity:”
    Do you think it’s a secret that Palm Coast is rapidly going the way of Deltona?
    Do you want me to sugar-coat my thoughts about Palm Coast? Well – NO.
    I owned two homes in PC and paid my dues watching the area become congested,
    increasingly politically corrupt, and downright dangerous. Why do you suppose so
    many people want to pack guns in Palm Coast? Because it’s so safe and friendly?

    I lived almost twenty years in PC. Moving out became my anti-aging elixir.

    So lock your doors and have a lovely day. I hope that PC rights itself one day.
    Like I said before, there’s a lot of nice people in PC who deserve better.

    Really – I wish you ALL the very best that life has to offer you.

    “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
    –Mahatma Gandhi

  15. Linda Sparda says:

    I dont think its a waste of time for animal abuse to be properly investigated. Im actually proud of Flagler police department for stepping up. Its about time.
    No, life of human or animal is a waste of time and money.

    Flagler police department is trying to get rid of bad seeds. It does take time. I am former law enforcement and navy.

  16. Just me says:

    Animals are not “murdered” they killed that does not mean it is right, just or legal in all circumstances.

  17. Linda Sparda says:

    To geezer, i agree animal cruelty is wrong and its not a waste of money to investigate the matter.
    These ppl here in PC are something else.
    I have owned here 3byears and already want to go back to Broward county. Yes, it was congested thats one of my main reasons for leaving.however, i will choose that over this corruption and your right its sugar coated. Its dangerous to be here. I personally dont want to be killed. Its way too drug ridden for me. They talk about south Florida being a pill mill.THINK AGAIN! Never evev

  18. Aves says:

    Used to live on this street with my grandmother…I agree that this kind of behavior is a shame for all the nice retirees there.

  19. Kim Lane says:

    People that kill defenseless animals with no concern should be punished to the highest extent of the law they are sociopaths and their next defenseless victims will be children and elderly
    I cannot believe that anyone would think it is a waste of time to punish people for animal neglect or cruelty unless they themselves do not have a heart and in that case I pray I never have to meet them and hope their family is protected from them . Animals are murdered , people murder animals sometime , it is against the law and they need to be prosecuted and if it was up to me the punishment would be severe.

  20. Howard Duley says:

    And this is the human ? refuge that is now over running this wonderful, wonderful, faboulus city full of pizza parlors and fast food joints. If I could turn the clock back 13 years we would have stayed in NH and froze our butts off.

  21. GT says:

    Everyday I read about crime in our city and how bad it has become, it seems that nothing is being done to
    stop this downward spiral but Landon wants a raise! I think he is already 100K overpaid. Mr Landon why don’t you fix some of these problems and then we can talk about more $$$$.

  22. Linda Sparda says:

    I hate it in palm coast. I tried to make complaints about jim landon who wants a raise for what????? He sent me an email stating i enjoy living in palm coast. Hope you find somewhere you enjoy living.
    I furthermore, made complaints about Flagler deputies. That went absolutely no where. The asst state atty no filed two charges against a girl who rented room from Craig’s list ad that i didn’t know was running. It was 2 months old and i had forgotten password. So, i felt bad took her and 3 month baby and dog. Only too get no money, ripped off and all her sisters and friends were either addict or drug dealer associated.

  23. The Geode says:

    Explain myself? It’s only a fukkin DOG! I don’t view animals as humans. I view humans as humans. When I eat a delicious t-bone – I don’t mourn for the cow.

  24. Linda Sparda says:

    Whats going on with the puppy investigation.

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