Sheriff Shane Jones, commenting on the attached press release by the United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District, wishes to thank all the agencies and officers involved in this effort. The investigation, which spanned several years, culminated in the conviction of a known white supremacist, Marcus Millsap. Millsap was indicted and found guilty on all charges stemming from the investigation, which also led to convictions on 54 co-conspirators. "These dedicated officers, who committed countless hours to this investigation, are to be commended," stated Jones. Jones further stated "I am so proud of our investigators and of all who were involved in Operation To the Dirt. This operation, which was a collaborative multi-agency endeavor, took some very dangerous people off the streets in our county, creating a safer environment for our citizens."
POPE COUNTY WHITE SUPREMACIST OPERATIVE CONVICTED OF RACKETEERING
LITTLE ROCK-A two-week federal jury trial has resulted in the conviction of the financial backer of a white supremacist gang for his involvement in a racketeering and drug conspiracy. Marcus Millsap, 54, of Little Rock, was found guilty on all counts when the jury returned their verdict late Friday afternoon. United States District Judge Brian S. Miller presided over the trial, and Judge Miller will sentence Millsap later.
Millsap was indicted in September 2019 for his involvement in a white supremacist prison gang known as the "New Aryan Empire," or NAE. NAE's slogan is "to the dirt," referring to the fact that members must remain in the organization until they die. Millsap was charged with, and ultimately convicted of, conspiracy to violate racketeering influenced corrupt organization laws, or RICO, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and drug conspiracy. Evidence at trial established that Millsap and others used the NAE as a corrupt organization to conduct racketeering activities including drug distribution, solicitations of murder, and attempted murder.
At trial, the prosecution presented evidence that in May 2014, Millsap sold methamphetamine to an individual named Bruce Hurley, who was working as a confidential informant. Once Hurley completed the controlled purchase of methamphetamine and reported back to law enforcement, a traffic stop located more methamphetamine in Millsap's vehicle. Millsap was convicted in the methamphetamine case, and while on an appeal bond, Millsap solicited members and associates of NAE to kill Hurley for his work in cooperating with law enforcement against Millsap. In January 2016, other NAE members attempted to murder Hurley. That attempt failed, and NAE members and associates continued attempting to arrange Hurley's death. This conduct resulted in Millsap's conviction Friday for attempted murder in aid of racketeering.
Another 54 defendants were indicted in the case, all of whom have pleaded guilty except for Millsap and Troy Loadholt, who is currently a fugitive. While some defendants are still awaiting sentencing, the highest sentence so far has been given to Wesley Gullett, who was the President of the New Aryan Empire. Gullett was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.
"The United States will not tolerate the vile and outrageous crimes committed by members and associates of the New Aryan Empire or any other white supremacist group," said Jonathan D. Ross, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. "If you are a member or associate of this or any other violent criminal organization, know that the United States will stop at nothing to dismantle and disrupt those who pose a threat to our communities and the future of our children."
The statutory penalty for conspiracy to violate racketeering laws is up to life imprisonment. The statutory penalty for attempted murder in aid of racketeering is up to 10 years imprisonment. The statutory penalty for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, based on the amount of methamphetamine involved in the case, is a minimum of 15 years and up to life imprisonment.
The investigation included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Pope County Sheriff's Office; the Russellville Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Arkansas State Police; 5th Judicial Drug Task Force; the Conway Police Department, and the Arkansas Army National Guard's Counterdrug Unit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Liza Brown and Stephanie Mazzanti.