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WAXAHACHIE — Former Ellis County Sheriff's Office Lt. Philip Gary Slaughter II is set to enter a guilty plea for his role an alleged gun theft. He allegedly stole and sold firearms from the sheriff's office property room and has been charged with possession or sale of a stolen firearm.
Slaughter resigned from the sheriff's office in March of 2016. He was arrested and booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center at 8:41 p.m. on April 15, 2016. He will enter his guilty plea on July 28 in federal court at 2 p.m. in courtroom 1561 before Judge David Horan of the U.S. District Courthouse for the Northern District of Texas located at 1100 Commerce St in Dallas.
According to the factual resume document from the U.S. District Court, Slaughter admitted in court that he possessed a stolen .40 caliber Taurus pistol. Slaughter admitted that from Oct. 21, 2001 – March 28, 2016 while working at the sheriff's office his responsibilities included reorganizing the evidence room where he had access to numerous firearms seized by agency. Some of those items were evidence in criminal cases.
"Slaughter admits that on Nov. 18, 2015, he obtained a court order to destroy hundreds of firearms in the ESCO Evidence Room. The list of firearms ordered to be destroyed was created and maintained by Slaughter," the factual resume document stated. "Slaughter obtained this court order knowing that he would not have some of the firearms destroyed but instead he would convert them to his own use or for personal gain."
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the sheriff's office was informed by the Ennis Police Department that officers recovered firearms, reported stolen from the agency, at Ennis Pawn. The firearms recovered were a .36 caliber Colt revolver model No. 1862, a second Colt revolver model No. 1860 and a Taurus semi-automatic pistol. These firearms were allegedly pawned on April 5. Ennis police stated Slaughter was the person identified on the pawn receipt, according to the affidavit.
"Ellis County Sheriff's Office Capt. Bryan McGee traveled to Ennis Pawn and identified the three firearms as being or been property in the ECSO Evidence Room. Capt. McGee reviewed the ECSO Evidence Room inventory report and observed that two Colt revolvers were evidence in an open burglary investigation and were supposed to be in possession of the ECSO evidence room," Texas Ranger Adam Sweaney stated in the arrest warrant affidavit. "Capt. McGee further observed that the Taurus pistol was in evidence in a closed narcotics investigation and was reported on a motion for destruction of weapons order by Phillip Slaughter to have been destroyed on Nov. 19, 2015 in Midlothian."
The affidavit states that Slaughter requested the destruction of the gun from Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr. on Nov. 18, 2015. Slaughter then allegedly filed the motion for destruction with the sheriff's office evidence room, indicating the Taurus pistol had been destroyed.
The factual resume document stated Slaughter admitted that he sold these firearms with Person A, an individual known to the U.S. Attorney, who was also employed at the ECSO.
"He and Person A knew these firearms were taken from the ECSO Evidence Room. Slaughter admits that in total, he and Person A sold or pledged as security 40 stolen firearms," the document read. "Slaughter pawned two firearms on Nov. 3, 2015 and three firearms on April 5, 2016 at Ennis Pawn and Loan. Specifically, Slaughter obtained a $500 loan from Ennis Pawn and Loan, using the Taurus, model PT140 Pro, .40 caliber pistol as collateral for the loan."
The factual resume notes that Slaughter and Person A between November and December 2015 pawned several firearms at Pawn Store and More several times from the sheriff's office evidence room. It also states weapons were also sold to Southwestern Firearm Outdoors, family members and acquaintances.
"Slaughter admits that he and Person A used their Facebook accounts to sell firearms to individuals," the factual resume stated. "These firearms were all taken from the ECSO evidence room. Slaughter agrees that he committed all of these elements in the offense."
Former Deputy Thomas Glen Smith is set the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas for arraignment at 9 a.m. on Aug. 1 before Judge Paul Stickney. Smith faces a charge of possession or sale of a stolen firearm.
The warrant affidavit has identified Smith as a co-conspirator with Slaughter in the alleged theft of firearms from the property room. The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested another former sheriff's office employee. Former deputy Thomas Glen Smith was booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center at 6:23 p.m. on May 3, 2016.
The court is located at 100 Commerce St., Room 1611 in Dallas.
According to Smith's factual resume document, Smith admitted that he received a stolen firearm, a Thompson 1927A-1 .45 caliber semi-automatic rifle. This rifle is also commonly known as the "Tommy Gun."
During his time with the sheriff's office Smith worked to reorganized the evidence room. Firearms that were sold by Smith were evidence in pending criminal cases or were to be destroyed by a court order.
"On April 16, (2016) the affiant (Sweaney) was contacted by Glen Smith informing him that he had traded and bought guns from Philip Slaughter and wanted to know what to do with them. Smith provided the affiant with the serial number to three guns. The affiant verified the three firearms were stolen from the Ellis County Sheriff's Office and at least two were subject to the Nov. 18, 2015 destruction order," the affidavit stated. "The affiant knows Smith through his employment as an investigator for the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, where he was employed fro Dec. 4, 2001 until he retired on Dec. 4, 2015."
The factual resume document states Smith admits to selling or pledged as security 40 firearms stolen from the sheriff's office evidence room. These thefts took place between November and December 2015.
In one instance the factual resume document noted that Smith obtained a $750 loan from Pawn Store and More using the Thompson semi-automatic rifle as collateral for the loan. The document stated Smith and Slaughter that sold firearms to other stores and individuals and used their Facebook accounts to sell firearms.
"On April 18, (2016) Smith contacted the affiant (Sweaney) informing him that Philip Slaughter asked him (Smith) to sell some guns. The affiant (Sweaney) learned that Smith, on more than one occasion in November and December 2015, pawned guns at a pawn shop in Ennis that were stolen from the Ellis County Sheriff's Office and were the subject of the Nov. 18, 2015 destruction order," Sweaney wrote in the affidavit. "On April 21, (Sweaney) met with Thomas Smith and his attorney at the Texas Department of Public Safety Office the office in Waxahachie. Smith brought three firearms."
The affidavit stated the firearms included a .223 caliber New England, a 9-millimeter Glock and a Winchester Model 94 rifle.
During his investigation, Sweaney spoke to witnesses who observed Smith and Slaughter inside of the sheriff's office evidence room discussing and handling a gun later stolen from the evidence room, the document stated.
"The affiant (Sweaney) learned that Smith was present with Slaughter on Nov. 19, 2015 at Gerdau, located in Midlothian, to serve as a witness to the destruction of some items pursuant to the destruction order of Nov. 18, 2015," the Affidavit stated. "On April 27, the affiant (Sweaney) received the mobile phone forensic image of Slaughter's cell phone from the Navarro County Sheriff's Office that was seized pursuant to a search warrant. The affiant observed multiple text messages between Smith and Slaughter between the dates of Sept. 26, 2015 and March 14, 2016, indicating they were co-conspirators in the theft of firearms and the tampering with evidence from the Ellis County Sheriff's Office evidence room."
According to the affidavit, text message conversations between Smith and Slaughter revealed the sale of gun from the property room. In the text message, it states that Slaughter allegedly said at one point that, "You may hear stories about it belonging to my Pawpaw! LOL I wld be a good crook!." Smith then allegedly replied "All good bro."
The affidavit stated Smith left the sheriff's office and went to work as a deputy for the Lampasas County Sheriff's Office. In a phone call to the Lampasas County Sheriff's Office, officer Amanda Garcia said Smith was no longer employed with the department and resigned May 3, 2016.
Slaughters and Smith's Plea Agreement
According to the Plea agreement document, Slaughter and Smith waved their rights. These rights include to plead not guilty, have a trial by a jury, have their guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to confront and cross-examine witness, to call witnesses in his defense, to have the case presented to a federal grand jury and to be free against compelled self-incrimination.
The sentence that the court could impose on Slaughter and Smith could include up to 10 years in prison, a fine not more than $250,000 or twice any pecuniary gain to defendant or loss to the victim, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, a mandatory special assessment of $100, restitution to the victim or to the community, cost of incarceration and supervision and forfeiture of property.
In the plea agreement document it states that Slaughter and Smith has to give complete and truthful information about the offense. They agree to pay any restitution or fines levied by the court, pay the U.S. District Clerk a mandatory special assessment fee of $100 and forfeit property that is connected with this case. In exchange the government will not bring any additional charges against Slaughter and Smith.
The Daily Light reached out to Slaughter's attorney Morgan Taylor and Smith's attorney Mark Griffith for comment. Calls went unreturned as of press time.
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