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Press Release

Mariah Ferry sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for kidnapping and brutal beating of two victims suspected of stealing drugs and money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Mariah Ferry, 22, of Albuquerque was sentenced today in federal court in Santa Fe, New Mexico to 30 years in prison on charges related to the kidnappings and brutal assaults of two victims suspected of stealing drugs and money from the home of co-defendant, Chase Smothermon, 32, of Albuquerque. 

            Ferry pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap, resulting in the death of J.S.  According to Ferry’s plea agreement and other public court records, Smothermon, Ferry, and a third co-defendant, Jose Torrez, 48, of Albuquerque, and other co-conspirators took part in a scheme to retaliate against two victims who they believed stole marijuana from Smothermon’s home where he resided with Ferry.  On Aug. 8, 2017, Torrez alerted Smothermon that J.S. was present at Torrez’s home.  Smothermon went to Torrez’s home to retaliate against J.S. and try to get his drugs and money back.  Ferry drove Smothermon to Torrez’s home where Smothermon and co-conspirators brutally beat J.S. with a baseball bat and the butt of a gun.

            Smothermon and co-conspirators then put J.S. in the trunk of Ferry’s car and bound J.S.’s hands, ankles, and mouth with tape.  Ferry drove Smothermon and J.S. to another co-conspirator’s home where J.S. died shortly thereafter. Ferry and Smothermon then mutilated J.S.’s body in a shed.  Later the same day, Smothermon contacted M.T. under a ruse that Smothermon wanted to buy marijuana from M.T.  When M.T. arrived at Smothermon’s home, Smothermon, Ferry and others bound, gagged and assaulted M.T. for hours. After several hours, two other co-conspirators escorted a bound and badly beaten M.T. out of Smothermon’s home and drove him to another location where M.T. was held overnight before M.T. was released.  On Aug. 9, 2017, Ferry drove Smothermon and another co-conspirator to a rural area in New Mexico where they buried J.S.’s body in a shallow grave.

            Smothermon pleaded guilty on Jan. 24 to kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap, resulting in the death of J.S.  Torrez pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to conspiracy to kidnap, resulting in the death of J.S. Smothermon and Torrez are in custody awaiting sentencing.  They face up to life in prison for each offense.  However, under the terms of their plea agreements, should the sentencing court accept their plea agreements, Smothermon will receive a sentence between 40 to 60 years and Torrez will receive a sentence of 14 years. 

            The DEA and FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Albuquerque Police Department and Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  The Narcotics section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 26, 2020

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 20-111