Drug War Prisoners

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February 2012:

“Take a look at my life…and see HOW I see…”

Name: Lamont Alvin McElveen

Age: 38 years old, born February 12, 1974

Hometown: Florence, South Carolina

Offense: Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or more of Cocaine Base, commonly known as crack cocaine, Class A Felony.

Sentence: Life Without Parole, $8 million fine, at least 10 years supervised release, $100 court fee.

The first thing this Writer, Lamont A. McElveen, desires for you, the Reader, to know and understand is that the majority of individuals convicted of crimes are NOT criminals or criminally minded, or some outlandishly lavish, money-grubbing… No. The movie “Scarface” is a far cry from that which I’m making mention of.

The governmental elite would have all believe that the entire criminal element buried in the inner cities scattered across the world is a menace to civilized society. They are dependent on your hardcore, undying belief in the broken unjust system of crime and punishment and remain powerful and in control due to your fealty to the unbalanced and unfair laws of jurisprudence.

The peace of society depends on justice. Justice is a universal divine law that is instituted and mitigated by the universal creator. It’s also a principle of fairness in dealings and judgments. It’s a system of reasoning and applying love in everyday situations and circumstances, the cornerstone of mankind’s humanity and civility. When love, truth, peace and freedom are violated, justice then must take their place, see?

Justice, in its purest form of equity and fairness, is sorely needed and respected by all, even criminals. Let me be clear in what I’m conveying -- this isn’t a lesson to explain the law. Nevertheless my intentions are to paint a clear and resounding picture in your mind to challenge what you know and have accepted as truth concerning this system of law and justice that has become your very cornerstone of life as you know it. Ask yourself, do the rich bureaucrat lawmakers on the hills of the high upper class of society, who rule and govern with impunity, represent your moral perception of fairness and equity? Can you understand how the simplicity of the Ten Commandments and other divine law from the universal creator, in whom they say they trust and pattern their laws after, can be transformed into hundreds of thousands of laws, statutes and regulations, many of which contradict one another? Can you imagine or do you know how many laws, statues and regulations you violate during the course of a day? Just think about that…

While you digest all the aforementioned, I offer a brief synopsis of my life for you to judge in the mode of justice that you have adopted as your own. Then place the outcome of your reasoned thoughts on the scales of your hearts to see if you find balance therein.

I grew up a mild mannered, shy young man in a typical middle class black family. My mother and father were -- and still are at the time of this writing – hard working, blue collar parents. We were not rich, but our close-by neighbors in the projects glimpsed our shabby belongings as their Christmas wishes. So we were accustomed to home invasions, which became one of the many straws that broke the back of our family. My parents trained me to remain as far away as possible from the riffraff in the neighboring projects.

To add insult to injury, my parents divorced after 14 years of a turbulent marriage. Me being 13 at the time didn’t make this transition any easier. So whatever comfort and stability my younger brother and I enjoyed abruptly ended. In less than one year, I went from being a straight-A student, excelling in sports, to finding myself basking in the lowest-of-the-low trailer park trash. My life, through no fault of my own, became the equivalent of down the rabbit hole.

I learned fast that the sheltered, shy boy I was didn’t mesh well in the poorest of poor neighborhoods in the ghetto. We call them “hoods” because there are no neighborhoods in the ruff and tuff streets, so I became a chameleon. I adapted with a quickness and blended in, and at the same time survived poverty.

I went to school everyday, but my true education came from the street life. My young dreams and goals faded and were replaced by the harsh reality of the hopelessness surrounding me everyday. I let what I saw outside of me everyday consume then define me. I adopted a foreign character much unlike the character traits instilled by my parents.

So by 16 years of age I became a follower of fools. I started smoking weed and drinking, even committing petty crimes for laughs. This ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude and lifestyle caused me to drop out of school in the 12th grade. I just stopped, right at the end of the year -- too busy getting high. However…you need money to get drunk and high and I was never good at selling drugs, never liked dealing with the addicts, so I actually worked.

I kept an odd job here and there, but I mostly liked working with my father in the auto body repair of wrecked cars. He taught me the trade, but mostly I just wanted to be around my father again, seeking the normalcy of a family we once had. Nevertheless, the clash came like a ton of bricks between us, our varying ideas and understanding of life. He was an alcoholic and womanizer. Me? A VERY shy misfit searching for a place to fit in. I drunk with him, but smoked and drunk with associates later. Those time zones became a Herculean problem…

Those haphazard choices in my life led me down a path of loneliness and depression. The lowly addicts I dreaded dealing with when I was younger became a source of identification for me. At the age of about 20 I dated a woman who smoked crack cocaine and she was the one that introduced me to the ease of money gained from selling it by showing me how much she could consume during a binge. She ended up going to prison for robbery and kidnapping for 22 years -- but the sensation didn’t leave me. It only solidified the inevitable end I embraced for myself.

Fast forwarding, I finally got arrested at 24 for possession of a unlawful weapon with an altered serial number. This charge was thrown out due to a pretrial intervention program, thank God. However, I continued down the path of self-destruction.

At 25 I was arrested for possession of less than 1 gram of ice, crank (crack), plus Simple Possession of marijuana, 28 grams or less. January 28, 1999, was a routine day for a routine drug sweep right down the block from my home, since the area I lived in at the time was considered a “drug hot spot” by the police. $750 fine for the VERY empty plastic bag in my pocket, plus the bag of weed they found feet away from me. I was informed that since it was closest to me, it had to be mine. The conviction did not land me in jail, or too much affect me at the time, but ended up costing me dearly in the long run.

Two years later in my degradation I was arrested again for conspiracy to possess cocaine. Another conviction that did not land me in prison, but the cost would prove to be astronomical. It was also the second time of my being arrested for drugs that had belonged to someone else. This time I was charged in a drug raid of my apartment (no one was home), which I shared with my cousin. They knew the drugs found were his -- the drugs were found in a jacket pocket with my cousin’s name on it! However, we were both charged because my name was on the lease. I pled out to a lesser charge and received three years probation.

This all led to the day that will live on in infamy, April 9, 2003…my only child’s earth day, when I was arrested for possession with intent to distribute 103 grams of crack cocaine, which was found in the trunk of the car I was driving at the time. The officer in the unmarked car said he stopped me because I was speeding -- interesting since I was only 100 yards from my driveway! But after the warrantless search and seizure and violation of countless rights, I was once again, for the final time, arrested and railroaded into a trial and finally sent to prison, for the first time, to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

This all may seem harsh or strange to the Reader, but I was targeted then labeled a career criminal within the federal statutes, because of the two drug priors. Imagine that. In the eyes of the federal government and their “War on Drugs…” me, the small time drug user and part time drug dealer, is a career criminal who needs to be put away for the rest of his natural life! I have no prior criminal history of violence or major drug activity causing notice of the population that I need to be removed from the streets.

Nevertheless…those are my words from my own biased opinion of my present condition and the circumstances I am forced to live with. Now, the question that is presented to you, Dear Reader, is this: Does this Writer, one Lamont Alvin McElveen, against (versus) the United States deserve to spend the rest of his life behind bars for transporting 4 ounces of crack cocaine in the trunk of a car, while already having two prior drug convictions? Does the crime fit the punishment? Does it seem right or fitting in the face of equal punishment that this sentence bestowed upon me be the same sentence you would desire to bestow on your family, friend or even a stranger? Could you live with being sentenced to life for the same crime? Do you support your local police with how the War on Drugs is fought within your home town? And exactly WHO is benefiting from this War?

This brief column is true and accurate, written to ensure the Reader would ponder over all revealed within. After reading this, are you able to think of our Justice System as just?

If the Reader has questions or comments about anything written in this column, please send your inquiries to me, directly:


USP-Coleman II

Attn: Lamont McElveen-Bey

Reg # 99987-071

POB 1034

Coleman, FL  33521-1034