Intrigue Surrounds Felon Caught Up in Probe of Missing Fox Executive | NBC Southern California

Intrigue Surrounds Felon Caught Up in Probe of Missing Fox Executive

Fox executive Gavin Smith was last seen on May 1



    (Published Thursday, July 26, 2012)

    Sentencing in a two-year-old drug case has been delayed once again for a West Hills man caught up in the current probe into the disappearance of a Fox film executive who lived a few miles away.

    Now in custody, defendant John Creech, 39, was free on his own recognizance at the time Gavin Smith disappeared in early May. Smith, 57, has not been May 1.

    On June 8, authorities investigating the Smith case executed a search warrant at the house where Creech was living.

    Creech has not been charged with any crime in connection with Smith but at a court appearance in late June, he was remanded into custody by Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein.

    Sentence Delayed for Convicted Drug Dealer in Missing Fox Exec Case

    [LA] Sentence Delayed for Convicted Drug Dealer in Missing Fox Exec Case
    A convicted drug dealer, whose West Hills home was raided as part of the investigation into missing Fox executive Gavin Smith, appeared in court on Thursday. John Creech was scheduled to be sentenced, but the judge rescheduled the hearing. Patrick Healy reports from West Hills for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 26, 2012.
    (Published Thursday, July 26, 2012)

    Creech had originally been arrested by Glendale Police, who alleged that a 2010 surveillance operation observed Creech making a drug drop at a unit in a Chatsworth business park.

    If convicted, Creech faces up to 10 years in the drug case which has become enmeshed in intrigue.

    Creech's attorney sought the latest continuance in order to give Glendale Police time to respond to a demand for documents.

    Search Continues for Missing Fox Exec

    [LA] Search Continues for Missing Fox Exec
    Family members of Gavin Smith spent the day Sunday searching for the missing Fox executive in Sylmar, the location where they learned his cellphone last sent a signal. NBC4's Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, 2012.
    (Published Sunday, July 8, 2012)

    The nature of the documents was not revealed in open court. Judge Klein referred to a need for "confidentiality" regarding issues that had been discussed in chambers in June.

    Outside court, Creech's attorney Daniel Teola said simply that the documents would be "helpful" to the defense in its effort to get a more favorable sentence.

    Creech has said he's never met Smith but his wife Chandrika met Smith in therapy, according to an unnamed source cited by the Los Angeles Times.

    The Sheriff's search warrant affidavit and return for the Creech house have been sealed. However, a cover page referred to probable cause for suspicion a felony had been committed at the house.

    Sheriff's investigators have not divulged what they learned from the search.

    The Smith case is still being investigated as a disappearance and at this point has not been determined to be a homicide, according to Steve Whitmore, spokesman for LA County Sheriff’s Department.

    Creech's sentencing in the drug case has been rescheduled for Aug. 29.

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