By David Taylor
My name is David Taylor and I am an inmate in the Federal Bureau of Prisons serving a 10-year sentence for conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.
You may not believe this, but I am a person just like you. The only difference is that I have made some bad choices early in life. This blog is about 40 years of King Karma kicking my ass for those bad decisions...not once, not twice, but three times. The three times, anyway, that landed my ass in prison.
You may wonder how someone can end up in prison three times when you would think once would be enough to get the picture--it is easier than you’d think.
My first encounter with the prison system was in 1980, when I was just 23 years old. I got caught with seven grams of meth at a border patrol checkpoint outside L.A. and got 72 months. Somewhere in my misguided youth I had the bright idea that manufacturing meth would be a good way to earn a living. Clearly, it was not.
The second time I was thrown in prison was in 1995 for transporting illegal aliens. I served 36 months. At first I did it for the money, but as I got to know the people I was transporting, I realized that they were families just like the ones we all know and grew up with. They had just as much right as anyone to safety and well-being. Would you risk everything to put your family and children on the right side of a fence? Of course you would. Anyone in their right mind would try. I became so passionate about the job that I was doing that I wrote a book about my experience. It’s almost finished, so I will save the details of this story for later.
In 2012, I had been in Georgia working as a project manager in the air conditioning industry. I even had my own business and I was supporting a family. Then through my job I had the unfortunate opportunity to meet Alberto. He became a friend. I had no idea he was an illegal alien. AND, as luck would have it, he also had a kilo of meth in his house; both were reasons I had been in prison before. I knew Alberto dealt drugs, but I chose to look the other way, not concerning myself with his side business. But eventually the law caught up with Alberto, and I was swept up in that mess as collateral damage--wrong place, wrong time.
After being threatened with 25 years to life if I took it to trial, I pleaded out. I found myself in front of a federal judge who proudly told Morely Safer, of the TV news show 60 Minutes, "I'll hand down a million years before I retire." My prosecutor was a seven-foot tall bald guy who resembled Mike Tyson and wore an eye-patch. He looked like an outtake from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Only this was no movie.
The irony of this situation is that I knew none of Alberto’s people in Mexico. I don't speak Spanish, and since I was of no help, I sat in jail for 12 months waiting (on the advice of my attorney) while Alberto led on the FBI. The day before sentencing he fled to Mexico. I am the only other person on his conspiracy charge.
I was sentenced on Halloween to 10 years for conspiracy. I couldn't believe it. My only crime was I didn't run down to the FBI headquarters and inform them that my friend was a drug dealer. I stood there all because Alberto cut off his GPS bracelet and made a hasty retreat to Mexico. He is free, on the run, and now I am in Federal Prison.
Had I behaved myself in my younger days the law would not have "presumed" my guilt. Which is basically what "conspiracy" means. You must prove your innocence.
As I look back, I made my decisions, and King Karma made me pay in kind. But instead of anger and defeat, I have found something extremely valuable here.
In this blog I want to share my unique perspective on being a prisoner of the U.S. Government three separate times, as well as my views on comprehensive immigration reform, mandatory minimums, and prison reform. But most importantly how I want to share how I found purpose and personal success behind bars.
Please come back and visit my blog when you can. I’ll be here.