FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On August 18, Skylar Houston, 29, a former Lowell Police Department officer, was sentenced to 144 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of distribution of methamphetamine in the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court in Fayetteville.

According to court documents, in March 2021, the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force (DTF) began investigating a drug trafficking organization operating within the Western District of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division. Through source reporting, investigators learned that the defendant was a member of the organization.

In March 2021, detectives with the DTF conducted two separate controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Houston.  On April 1, 2021, detectives arrested Houston and located a firearm in his possession.

That day, detectives executed a search warrant at Houston’s residence in Johnson.  Detectives seized over seven pounds of methamphetamine, approximately four pounds of marijuana, 1,485 Xanax pills, LSD, mushrooms and steroids.  Two additional firearms were also seized during the execution of the warrant. 

The drugs were locked in a safe for “future distribution by the organization.”

Houston agreed to plead guilty in March in exchange for additional charges being dropped. He was released on bond and later engaged in a seven-hour police standoff at the McDonald’s parking lot on Joyce Boulevard on July 23.

Houston was the 2015 Lowell Police Officer of the Year.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the sentencing announcement.

The Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force investigated the case, and assistant U.S. Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case. This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make neighborhoods safer for everyone.