A 49-year-old Van Buren man was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this month after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit rape and other drug and firearms violations.

Michael D. McSpadden entered a negotiated plea deal March 12 after arranging to meet with who he thought was a woman and her underage daughter in 2016. He pleaded guilty to three felony charges in the plea deal: conspiracy to commit rape, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of methamphetamine.

"This case was a bad combination of meth, a gun and a predator who was looking for a child to victimize," 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Luke Ferguson said of McSpadden's case. "Thankfully, the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office intervened before he was able to connect with a real child. My hope is that others who intend to victimize children will be deterred when they see case after case that we have prosecuted with similar facts. We will continue to hold offenders accountable and pursue lengthy prison sentences in these cases."

According to court documents investigators first began communicating with McSpadden after locating a suspicious ad online on July 26, 2016.

McSpadden arranged to provide the undercover investigator with methamphetamine "and engage in sexual contact with both the undercover persona and the underage female," according to a probable cause affidavit. McSpadden arranged to meet with undercover investigators at a predetermined location in Conway.

At the time of his arrest, McSpadden was found in possession of a cellular device, condoms, multiple sex toys, a little more than 1 gram of meth and a loaded .22 caliber pistol, according to curt documents.

McSpadden was scheduled for a two day jury trial in Faulkner County Circuit Court beginning March 13. However, he entered a negotiated plea deal with prosecutors on March 12.

Ferguson said he was thankful for the work investigators and prosecutors put into the case against McSpadden to help keep another child predator off Faulkner County streets.

"I appreciate the effort that Jordan Crews put into this case, as well as so many other cases like this one that he has worked on," Ferguson said Thursday. "Protecting children is always a top priority for this office, and the deputy prosecutors and law enforcement officers that prepare these cases make that possible."