Authorities indict Rusk County constable; wife taken into custody
TYLER, TX — Today at approximately 10:00 a.m., the Rusk County Precinct 2 Constable, Benjamin Thomas Ferrell, 36, of Tatum, was arrested by Dallas Division F.B.I. Special Agents of the Tyler resident High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office. Ferrell was charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Phentermine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Marihuana, and Selling Firearms to Prohibited Persons.
Ferrell’s arrest came after a lengthy investigation initiated by the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, in cooperation with F.B.I. HIDTA Task Force, which resulted in sealed federal indictments, US Title Code 21, Section 846 and 922D. Ferrell was transported and booked in the Smith County Jail awaiting arraignment by a Federal Magistrate.
A short time later, Amanda Gayle Ferrell, 32, of Henderson, wife of Constable Ferrell, was arrested at her residence on County Road 2127, by Rusk County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Officers. Amanda was charged with two counts of Manufactory/Delivery of Controlled Substance, a state jail felony. This charge was in connection to the investigation by Rusk County authorities and the F.B.I.
At approximately 2pm, Amanda was arraigned by Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Joe Sorrells with bond set at $10,000. She currently remains in the Rusk County Jail. The investigation continues and updates will follow as they become available.
Sheriff Danny R. Pirtle commended the officers associated in this investigation. Due to the professionalism and specialized training the investigation went as planned. We appreciate the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents for a job well done.
The Rusk County Precinct 2 constable faces up to 30 years after being indicted on federal drug and firearm charges.
Benjamin Thomas Ferrell, 36, of Henderson, Texas, was indicted on Mar. 8, 2012 and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and delivery of a firearm to a convicted felon. Ferrell was arrested today and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Guthrie this afternoon for an initial appearance in federal court.
According to the indictment, Ferrell is alleged to have conspired with an unindicted co-conspirator from Dec. 2001 to Jan. 2012, to possess with intent to distribute phentermine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and marijuana. It also alleges Ferrell sold an SKS assault rifle to a known felon on Jan. 12, 2012.
If convicted, Ferrell faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the drug violations and up to 10 years for the firearms offense.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI East Texas HIDTA Task Force and the Rusk County Sheriff's Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Middleton.