Joseph Smith was a suspected smuggler with ties to the terrorist organization ZFT. He appeared to have knowledge of the plan to extract David Robert Jones from prison and provided the location of the anticipated event to the FBI, which was passed on to both Mitchell Loeb and Jones. During an FBI raid, Smith was shot in the head, where he was subsequently brought into Walter Bishop's laboratory and interrogated post mortem.
Joseph Aaron Smith lived at 4331 Broad Street in Saugus, MA. He had a science background and had travelled to Budapest eight times during 2007. An FBI task force in Germany, headed by Agent Mitchell Loeb, discovered Smith to have a potential connection to a smuggling operation involving both Europe and the United States. The FBI raided a container that Smith had packed merely a week after working for the shipping company, but discovered that the contained held only carnival teddy bears. Later on, a SWAT team was sent to Smith's residence to take him into custody after finding a his telephone number in paperwork brought back from Germany. Meanwhile, Agent Olivia Dunham requested a meeting with David Robert Jones, who insisted that he would not speak to her unless he first heard from his friend, Mr. Smith. Olivia called Peter Bishop to arrange the meeting. Aghast, Peter realized this was the same man who was to be apprehended by a SWAT team. He tried to reach contact with Agent Phillip Broyles, but the SWAT team was radio silent, and upon his arrival at Smith's house, was restrained. Smith tried to escape through a second-story window. As he jumped to the ground, he was ordered to stop. Smith pulled a firearm and was shot in the head by the SWAT team. Determined to give Mr. Jones the information he needed, Dr. Walter Bishop requested the body be transported to his lab, where he would try to extract the answer to Mr. Jones's question. Walter covered the body in ice, electrodes, and protective gel and connected the body to Peter, whom he hoped to act as a receiver of the electronically stimulated information. The gun shot wound resulted in servere trauma to the brain, causing Peter to not visualize his complete answers. Mr. Jones required the answer to the question: "Where does the gentleman live?" Peter decoded the partially visible text, relaying the answer of "Little Hill" to Mr. Jones.