Hi, my name is Laurie Smith and I am the devastated mother of Charles Bradford Smith ( Brad). Our nightmare begin when our home was raided by the FBI in September 2021 and our 24 year old son Brad was being dragged out of our home in his underwear. From there he was on home confinement for 13 months. Now just recently to our shock and horror he was sentenced to 41 months in prison. He reports on November 1st.,2022 to Elkton Federal Prison in Ohio. 4 hours from our home. I will start by saying that Brad has never been in trouble. Not even a traffic violation. Brad has attended several Trump rallies over the years and was very excited about supporting Trump on January 6th. . Due to back and forth text to his friend on his phone and that friend going down with him to the rally he was charged with conspiracy. Then months later the DOJ charged him with assault although he never assaulted anyone. Even the prosecution questioned that charge. The assault charge the DOJ said was because a metal sign went past him ( and hundreds of others), but Brad touched it for approximately 7 seconds. This sign never injured anyone and it was only after a wooden cross had been put up in the same area. Brad left the grounds by himself and knew not to enter the capital. We are grieving for our child. We are so confused by the harsh sentence. We feel this judge didn't bother looking at the facts or even separating him from his co-defendant who made some different choices. How can privately texting your friends on your phone and using some hyperbolic rhetoric that so many young men use when texting privately and barely touching a sign put you in prison for years? He's a young man just excited about a rally . I'm certain if the FBI would look at most young peoples phones they would not always agree with their opinions. What happened to freedom of speech?
Any prayers, letters, or a financial contribution towards Brad's situation would help immensely. Just paying for monthly prison commissary , travel expenses to visit him, and keeping up with our sons bills is going to be a challenge on top of the sleepless nights not knowing how my son is doing. I pray things turnaround for our country soon.
* Brad did not enter the capital
* Brad did not vandalize anything
* Brad did not hurt anyone
* Brad did not bring a weapon
Update #10 September 14, 2023
Hello again patriots,
I wanted to update you all today....
Actually yesterday I realized it had been exactly 2 years since our home was raided and my son was arrested. Then it was months and months of home confinement before he had to report to prison. What an unimaginable nightmare this has been for us all. And almost daily I hear of another person arrested or given a sickening harsh sentence. My heart bleeds for those families who have just begun this nightmare.
What helps beyond words is the humbling support that you all have shown. It's truly remarkable just how many go out of their way to pray for my son, write him, or donate. Thank you for everything. Your prayers are felt. The love you have shown for a young man that you have never meant is extraordinary!
Brad is still doing well considering his circumstances. As I have said before he is still positive, and really does not complain. He is making the best out of a bad situation. I know he gets lonely and homesick, but he is just an amazing strong young man and I could not be prouder. I can't wait for the day he can finally leave that awful place.
Please continue to hold my son and all of the January 6 prisoners up in prayer.
Thank you so much
Update #9 August 15, 2023
I just wanted to give a quick update on my son since it's been over a month.
Things have been ok. It's all about getting into a routine in there and staying busy. We got to visit him a few weeks ago and he looked good and it was a very positive visit. He did not complain, just told us what his days are like. It's pretty much boring as you can imagine. I can tell he holds a lot back because he doesn't want to worry us, but I can honestly say I think he is just keeping positive overall and is thinking about his future. He gets to go outside most days. walks the track for exercise, reads, and is even able to watch TV sometimes. Its hard to believe he has been in there 10 months. I know I should not wish time away, but I just want him home.
Thank you all so much for everything. The kindness so many have shown for my son is amazing. I will never be able to express my gratitude enough as long as I live.
God Bless you all
Update #8 Brads June update June 28, 2023
I just wanted to give a new update on Brad. He is doing ok. His sister went up to visit him a couple weeks ago and it was so nice. She said he stayed very upbeat with her and would tell funny stories to keep things positive. I know Brad was very stressed about the idea of his sister going to a prison to visit him, but it turned out great. She was able to sit with him for the entire afternoon. The hardest part of course was the leaving. He has now been in prison for 8 months. It still does not seem real. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support. Brad knows so many are praying for him. He is so cut off from the world in there I wish he truly knew the magnitude of just how many people support him and all of the Jan 6 prisoners. One thing is certain he feels your prayers. The love surrounding my son is astounding and it keeps him so positive. If anything this has made him stronger and more focused on so many positive things he does have in his life. He knows he is blessed. I hope you all have a Happy 4th of July! God Bless
Update #7 Brad's May update May 25, 2023
I wanted to share with you that we did get to visit Brad! The COVID emergency has ended so regular visits are now allowed as long as the prison keeps allowing it. It was so so wonderful seeing him and hugging him. He looked well and has kept his positive attitude despite all of this. I'm so in awe of his strength. Proud doesn't even cover it.
As you can imagine, it was extremely stressful going up there and actually seeing where he is. It reminded me of how cruel his sentencing was. The hardest part was leaving him there in that awful place. I left feeling so many emotions - very grateful to visit him of course, but also exhausted and numb. I will never understand any of this. I know there is a reason that God has put him on this path, but it is still a very painful thing to endure.
While we were there we visited a local restaurant and we had a very kind waitress. We made small talk and for some reason I was pulled to tell her why we were there. She could not believe it and told us how sorry she was and how awful this entire situation was. Anyway, she came back about 5 min later and asked us if we would like to attend her church in the morning with her and we told her we would love to, but we had a long drive back that evening. She went on to tell us that after we told her our story she immediately called her pastor because her pastor had also been visited by the FBI for attending the rally!!!! Anyway this kind girl said she would write to Brad and she would also pass his address on to her pastor. It's amazing the people that cross your path at that exact moment you need them too.
Thank you so much for your continued support! God Bless
Update #6 Brad's monthly update April 27, 2023
I wanted to make sure I did an update this month! I was waiting a little longer because I was hoping for some new news. Prison can be very boring and not much new happens worth talking about, but luckily Brad called the other day very excited because he was given a job! It's only two days a week, but he said it is so nice to feel like he has a purpose and when he is working he forgets for a little while that he is even in prison. As I've said before, Brad is always trying to be positive, and I know it's for my piece of mind, but I think it really helps him too. When we talk he wants to talk about the books he has been reading, or how his family and friends are doing. He doesn't want to talk much about the negative part of his situation. God bless him, he is really trying to focus on the good, and doesn't want to take a single day for granted. I know that really helps him deal with the day to day stress of being in that place. I actually have to catch myself from complaining too much to him! I hope he can bring a little extra joy to those in there who have nobody on the outside praying for them. The suffering I'm sure is so hard to see. Brad is very blessed to have so many wonderful people supporting and praying for him and he expresses this often. He has been reading many history books, and historical fiction novels. He sent home a photo of himself he had taken in there and I uploaded it, but I'm not sure if it came out right. I had put it on Truth Social too. He gets to go outside on most days, unless there is a lockdown or low staffing. It can be frustrating, but overall he assures me it's not often. I'm always praying something changes soon, but for now I'm being strong for my son and I know God is with him. Thank you for your support and your prayers while we are on this stressful journey. God bless you all,Laurie
Update #5 Brad's monthly update March 16, 2023
I wish I could find the words to truly express how much we appreciate all of this continued support. We will never forget the outpouring of love and generosity for the rest of our lives. This situation has been so daunting and unprecedented. We have a new normal right now, but we know it's only temporary and trust in Gods perfect timing.
Brad has been doing well. He stays very upbeat for all of us, and he is not going to let this change who he is. We are very proud of him and how he is handling this. What a strong young man he is! It honestly brings me to tears when I hear from him and he is so positive and seems to worry more about how we are doing. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought our family would be in this situation, but we are, and it's only made us stronger and closer as a family and to God.
It's hard to believe that he has been in that prison for almost 5 months. He tells us that he does lots of journaling/reading and walking outdoors. This prison is located out in the country so when he walks the track he said he sees different kinds of wildlife which is nice because he has always been an avid hiker and loves animals so at least he gets to see a little of nature.
So much that had been hidden from the public about January 6th seems to slowly be coming out and hopefully continues to.
Thank you for helping our son, God Bless
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances"
Update #4 February 14, 2023
It's been over a month since I have updated everyone on how Brad is doing. He told me that he has settled in more to a good routine. He rarely complains to us and I know it's because he doesn't like to worry anyone, but I do think he is doing ok. He is reading a lot and exercises when he can. I'm so proud of how he is handling his situation. I can't believe he has been in there now for 4 months. It's unbelievable, and makes me heart sick how long he has to go. We heard that we may be allowed to visit in person in a couple months when Biden finally brings an end to the Covid emergency in May. I'm really looking forward to it more then anything.
Please know that Brad always ask in every conversation to thank you all for your continued prayers, donations, and letters. We can't ever thank you enough. He knows he is loved and not forgotten.
We did have a bit of a scare, but hopefully things will be ok. Ironically on top of everything else there was a HUGE train accident in Ohio about 12 miles from his prison. It is actually a pretty serious ongoing situation, but so far I haven't read anything that says he is in any sort of danger Thank God. Hopefully the air and water are safe, but I'm trying to focus on one thing at a time and that isn't at the top right now!
Please continue to keep Brad and all of the January 6 prisoners in your prayers. He is such a sweet young man.
Thank you, and God Bless
Update #3. January 6 January 7, 2023
Just a quick update. I spoke to Brad yesterday ( January 6) and he said he had received many very kind letters of encouragement. I also pass on the prayers from this site and tell him of the generosity of so many of you. He wanted me to tell all of you thank you and if he could write everyone back he would. All of your support means so much and it’s the topic of many conversations I have with him. He will say - “ Mom, I get letters from people in just about every state , and even overseas!!! It’s very heartwarming. Thank you for making him smile. He is very thankful for what he does have and you all remind him of that. Thank you, and God Bless
Update #2 Thank you for making his Christmas so much easier! January 3, 2023
I wanted to thank everyone for their continued support . You made Brad's Christmas happy under the circumstances, I can never express my gratitude enough. He was blown away by all of the Christmas cards and letters of love and support! He cherishes every single one of them. He is able to go to commissary whenever they are allowed and buy what he needs. Brad is very blessed to have all of this support and he knows this. It seems like he is getting into a better routine every time I speak with him. I know he has a ways to go, but I keep praying it ends up being much shorter then what the judge gave him. Brad is a very generous young man and I know he will give back in his own way to help out others throughout his life, especially after this humbling experience of having so many caring strangers reach out to him. Thank you so much for your love and support for my son, but also for all of the other Jan 6 people going through this nightmare. God Bless
Thank you so much December 9, 2022
I wanted to let everyone know how grateful we are for your prayers and contributions. Brad has been in prison now for 38 days. I apologize for not updating everyone sooner, it's just been one thing after another. When he first arrived they immediately put him in solidarity confinement for 14 days due to a COVID policy. He could not contact us and not knowing what was going on was very scary. Now luckily Brad is in the regular part of the prison and is able to call us some days and if the email there is working he can also contact us that way. He is adjusting. We have a long road ahead of us. He always tells me he is fine and not to worry. But he would say that regardless of course. Brad is very empathetic and he is seeing lots of sad things in there and worries about others. He will only come out of this stronger and even more compassionate then he already was. My goal right now is to keep him as happy and safe as I possibly can from the outside. We are truly overwhelmed by the love you all have shown my son. And the letters! He LOVES getting those letters, they make his day! God Bless
Click the Pray button to let the campaign owner know you are praying for them.