Another defendant in a methamphetamine and racketeering conspiracy that officials say was carried out over several years in the Russellville area pleaded guilty Friday to several federal charges she was facing in a jury trial scheduled for February in Little Rock.
Shannon Ferguson pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy; aiding and abetting kidnapping and aiding and abetting assault with a dangerous weapon, both in aid of racketeering; and conspiring from 2014 through Sept. 3, 2019, to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
She faces a potential sentence of life in prison.
Thekidnapping charges involve two incidents -- the kidnapping of a person identified only as C.L. on May 28-29, 2017, and that of a person identified as H.D. on June 4-6, 2017.
The plea agreement, which resulted in some other charges being dropped, states that in the first incident, the victim suffered an injury, and in the second incident the victim suffered permanent bodily injury. Both times, a dangerous weapon was used, the document states. It later identifies the weapon as either a baseball bat or a knife.
Ferguson, represented by attorney Marjorie Rogers of Little Rock, agreed that her reason for participating in the kidnappings was to gain entrance to, or maintain or increase her position in, the New Aryan Empire, a Pope County-based white-supremacist organization that ran a methamphetamine trafficking operation.
The narcotics trafficking conspiracy involved between 11 and 33 pounds of methamphetamine, according to the plea agreement. It says Ferguson is subject to a sentencing enhancement for obstructing an investigation into the crimes.
Her plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Brian Miller, who will preside over the trials of numerous defendants in the case.