LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Five members of an Arkansas white supremacist gang were sentenced to prison Wednesday as part of a six-year federal investigation.

The office of the United States Attorney Easter District of Arkansas announced Thursday the five gang members were part of a group of 55 tied to the New Aryan Empire, a white supremacist gang that had its beginnings in the Arkansas prison system.

They were charged from an investigation called To The Dirt, reusing an NAE slogan tied to members remaining members until death. The investigation began in 2016 and centered on methamphetamine trafficking in the Pope County area.

The stiffest sentencing went to 35-year-old Russell Robinson of Dover, Arkansas, who got 17 years for charges including kidnapping in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and maiming in aid of racketeering.

The remaining four defendants were sentenced for conspiracy to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Jeffrey Howell, 38, of Russellville, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment, Richard Hampton, 42, of Pottsville, and Tiffany Parker, 42, of Russellville, were both sentenced to eight years, and April Teeter, 40, of Russellville, was sentenced to seven and a half years.

Each was also sentenced to five years of supervised release when their prison terms are completed. The group had previously pled guilty to crimes as associates of the NAE.

Of the 55 people charged as part of the larger investigation, 53 pleaded guilty and one was found guilty at trial. There have been 35 defendants previously sentenced.

Sentences have gone as high as 35 years and include charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, maiming and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

One person charged in the investigation, Troy L. Loadholt, remains a fugitive.