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Arkansas woman receives 15-month federal sentence for money laundering linked to son’s drug trafficking scheme

Pine Bluff felon receives 15-year sentence for drug trafficking and firearm possession

Sherwood, Arkansas – Karen Hoskins, a 63-year-old resident of Sherwood, has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for her involvement in a money laundering scheme connected to her son’s drug trafficking activities. The announcement was made by Jonathan D. Ross, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and the sentence was handed down by Chief United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker.

The case traces back to February 3, 2021, when Brian Jeffrey Litton, Hoskins’ son, along with eight others, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other related offenses. Litton was released to home detention under strict bond conditions, including electronic monitoring and regular contact with his probation officer and defense attorney. However, in May 2021, Litton absconded, failing to report to the United States Probation Office and maintain contact with his attorney. His whereabouts were unknown, leading to his declaration as a fugitive and the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

Hoskins initially claimed ignorance of her son’s location, even returning his electronic monitoring equipment and asserting that he was missing. However, by August 2021, it was discovered that Litton was hiding in a wooded area of Pulaski County, and Hoskins was seen meeting with him there. Evidence, including text messages, revealed that Hoskins knew Litton’s location as early as July 2021 and had been actively concealing him from law enforcement.

Further investigation uncovered that Hoskins had been deeply involved in her son’s drug trafficking operations during 2020 and 2021. She received drug proceeds from Litton, amounting to $2,000 to $5,000 weekly, knowing that the cash originated from his illegal activities. Hoskins concealed this money at her home to prevent its seizure by authorities. Litton would retrieve the cash to purchase large quantities of methamphetamine for distribution in central Arkansas.

Hoskins also provided her son with an American Express card for living expenses and paid his bills using the drug proceeds. Additionally, she used more than $150,000 from the drug proceeds to support her gambling habit.

On October 6, 2021, Hoskins was charged in a Superseding Indictment with harboring a fugitive. A Second Superseding Indictment on July 6, 2022, charged her with conspiracy to commit money laundering and five counts of money laundering related to her son’s drug trafficking. Hoskins pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on August 14, 2023.

Chief Judge Baker sentenced Hoskins to 15 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Additionally, Hoskins was ordered to pay a money judgment of $200,000 as part of her plea agreement. The federal system does not allow for parole. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner.

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