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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Monday, August 7, 2017

Two Former Ellis County Sherriff’s Office Employees Admit to Stealing and Selling Firearms

DALLAS — Thomas Glen Smith, 50, and Philip Gary Slaughter, 42, both appeared in federal court and pleaded guilty to one count of possession or sale of stolen firearms, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Smith and Slaughter were charged in separate, but related cases in June 2017 and May 2017, respectively. The maximum penalty for the offense charged is 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution may also be ordered. Both defendants will remain on bond pending sentencing.

According to plea documents filed in the case, Smith and Slaughter worked at the Ellis County Sherriff s Office (ECSO) in the ECSO Evidence Room. Their responsibilities included reorganizing the ECSO Evidence Room, where they had access to numerous firearms seized by the ECSO. On November 18, 2015 Slaughter obtained a court order to destroy hundreds of the firearms in the ECSO Evidence Room. Some of these firearms, however, were not destroyed and, instead, Smith and Slaughter sold approximately forty firearms taken from the ECSO Evidence Room.


At various times in November and December, 2015, Smith and Slaughter pawned several firearms at various pawn stores in the Ellis County area. The defendants would also use their Facebook accounts to sell firearms to individuals. These firearms were either supposed to be in the possession of the ECSO Evidence Room or were listed in the destruction order.


The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Texas Department of Public Safety—Texas Ranger Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Rumsey and Errin Martin are in charge of the prosecution.


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Firearms Offenses
Lisa Slimak 214-659-8600
Updated August 7, 2017