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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Texas

For Immediate Release

Monday, January 8, 2018
Erin Nealy Cox
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lisa Slimak

Former Ellis County Sherriff’s Office Employee Sentenced for Stealing and Selling Firearms

DALLAS —Philip Gary Slaughter, 42, of Mesquite, Texas, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 15 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in May 2017 to one count of possession or sale of stolen firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas. 

Thomas Glen Smith, 50, was charged in a separate but related case and also pleaded guilty to his role. Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on January 18, 2018 by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.  

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, Joseph Magliolo, and Errin Martin prosecuted.


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Dallas Field Division