White Supremacists Gang Trafficked Drugs in Pope County Area
LITTLE ROCK—Five defendants were sentenced yesterday for their involvement in crimes carried out on behalf of a white supremacist gang. Each defendant previously pleaded guilty to various crimes associated with the New Aryan Empire (NAE), a white supremacist organization that began as a prison gang and functioned as a drug trafficking organization.
Russell Robinson, 35, of Dover, Arkansas, was sentenced to 204 months imprisonment for kidnapping in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and maiming in aid of racketeering. The remaining four defendants were sentenced for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine: Jeffrey Howell, 38, of Russellville, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment, Richard Hampton, 42, of Pottsville, and Tiffany Parker, 42, of Russellville, were both sentenced to 96 months imprisonment, and April Teeter, 40, of Russellville, was sentenced to 90 months imprisonment. In addition to prison time, United States District Judge Brian S. Miller also sentenced each defendant to five years of supervised release following their terms of imprisonment.
The investigation began in 2016, when local and federal agencies initiated a joint investigation to identify, infiltrate, and dismantle drug trafficking organizations in Russellville. Agents identified multiple individuals who were trafficking methamphetamine in the Pope County area.
In June 2017, NAE members and associates kidnapped two individuals that they suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, which violated the rules of NAE. One victim was held against their will and subsequently beaten and stabbed multiple times. While the victim was held to the ground, another NAE member heated a knife with a torch and burned the victim’s cheek, leading to permanent disfigurement. Another victim was kidnapped at the same time and restrained and repeatedly beaten.
The overall indictment in this case charged more than 50 people from the Pope County area with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering, and numerous gun and drug violations. The case is named “To The Dirt,” a reference to the NAE slogan referring to the rule that members must remain in the NAE until they die. The charges allege acts involving attempted murder, kidnapping, maiming, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Of the 55 total defendants charged in “Operation ‘To The Dirt,’” 53 defendants have pleaded guilty, 1 defendant was found guilty at trial, and 35 of those defendants have already been sentenced to prison terms: Courtney Talley 94 months; Corey A. Ford 45 months, Henri T. Keener, II 84 months, Jared Dale, 84 months; Britanny Conner, 120 months; Keith Savage, 120 months; Joseph Pridmore, 150 months; Daniel Adame, 262 months; Justin Howell, 155 months; James George, 70 months; Amos Adame, 121 months; and Skippy Don Sanders, 262 months; Andrew Syverson 151 months; Amanda Rapp 262 months; Jayme Short 90 months; Cory S. Donnelly 188 months; Wesley Pierson 120 months; Ralph Ross 36 months; Jeffrey L. Knox 180 months; Robert Chandler 65 months; Timothy Ferguson 180 months; Paula S. Enos 180 months; Heath Kizer 96 months; Christopher S. Helms 102 months; David D. Singleton 131 months; Kathrine R. Ross 60 months BOP; Courtney Talley 94 months; Corey A. Ford 45 months; Henri T. Keener, II 84 months; April Howell 198 months; Kevin M. Long 369 months; James Scott Oliver 327 months; and Wesley S. Gullett 420 months. The remaining defendant, Troy L. Loadholt, remains a fugitive.
The investigation was conducted by ATF, DEA, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pope County Sheriff’s Office, Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force, and the Russellville Police Department, with assistance from the FBI.
Press Release – US DOJ