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Press Release

Sherwood Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison For Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas
Ms. Paulette Chappelle, Public Information Officer

      LITTLE ROCK—Karen Hoskins will spend 15 months in federal prison for money laundering. Jonathan D. Ross, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced the sentence, which was handed down today by Chief United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker.

      On February 3, 2021, Brian Jeffrey Litton and eight others were indicted on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other charges. Litton is the son of Hoskins, 63, of Sherwood. Litton was subsequently released to home detention with electronic monitoring. Litton’s bond conditions required him to reside in the Eastern District of Arkansas and to maintain regular contact with his United States Probation Officer and his defense attorney.

      An investigation revealed that in May 2021, Litton failed to report to the United States Probation Office and failed to maintain contact with his defense counsel, and his whereabouts became unknown. Litton was declared a fugitive and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Later in May, Hoskins, who denied knowing Litton’s location, returned his electronic monitoring equipment, and represented that Litton removed the monitoring equipment and was missing.

      In August 2021, Litton was determined to be living in a wooded area of Pulaski County, and Hoskins was observed meeting with Litton in this remote location. Evidence in the case, including text communications, revealed that Hoskins knew Litton’s whereabouts beginning in July 2021, and that she intentionally concealed Litton from law enforcement.

      Through the investigation, it was learned that during 2020 and 2021 Hoskins engaged in a money laundering scheme with her son, in which Hoskins received drug proceeds from Litton in the amount of $2,000 to $5,000 cash on a weekly basis. Hoskins, who knew that her son’s drug trafficking activity was the source of the cash, concealed the drug proceeds at her house to avoid seizure of the money by law enforcement. Litton would retrieve the cash he needed from Hoskins’ home to purchase multiple pound quantities of methamphetamine which he and others distributed in central Arkansas. Hoskins provided Litton with an American Express card to use for living expenses and paid her son’s bills using the drug proceeds. During 2020 and 2021, Hoskins used more than $150,000 in drug proceeds to fund her gambling habit.

      On October 6, 2021, Hoskins was charged in a Superseding Indictment with harboring a fugitive. On July 6, 2022, a Second Superseding Indictment was returned charging Hoskins with conspiracy to money launder, as well as five counts of money laundering in connection with her son’s drug trafficking activity. Hoskins pleaded guilty on August 14, 2023, to one count of money laundering.

      Chief Judge Baker also sentenced Hoskins to two years of supervised release, and Hoskins was ordered to pay a money judgment in the amount of $200,000 as part of the plea agreement. There is no parole in the federal system.

      This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

      The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner.

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Updated July 9, 2024