LITTLE ROCK — A Clarksville man was sentenced Sept. 11 for his role in a methamphetamine conspiracy that involved members of a white supremacist gang. Skippy Sanders, 37, was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced today’s sentencing.

Sanders pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more, but less than 15 kilograms, of methamphetamine on October 23, 2019. In addition to the term of 262 months’ imprisonment, Judge Miller also sentenced Sanders to five years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.

In 2016, 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. The investigation revealed that Sanders obtained pound quantities of methamphetamine from known members of New Aryan Empire (NAE), a white supremacist organization that began as a prison gang, and later sold the methamphetamine.

“Today’s sentence in Operation ‘To The Dirt’ is an important step in pushing back against the turmoil brought about by gang activity in the River Valley,” said Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute methamphetamine distribution in this as well as other corrupt organizations.”

Sanders was charged on October 3, 2017, in a federal indictment that charged 44 people from the Pope County area with 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.

A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment on February 5, 2019, which named 11 additional defendants and added charges for the defendants’ involvement in acts involving attempted murder, kidnapping, maiming, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Of the 55 total defendants charged in “Operation ‘To The Dirt,’” 26 defendants have pleaded guilty, and five of those defendants have already been sentenced to prison terms: Jared Dale, 84 months; Britanny Conner, 120 months; Keith Savage, 120 months; Joseph Pridmore, 150 months; Daniel Adame, 262 months. The remaining defendants are awaiting trial.

The investigation included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Pope County Sheriff’s Office and the Russellville Police Department.

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