February 25, 1998
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate your sharing your views with me.
Drug abuse and drug-related crimes are among the greatest ills that plague our nation. We must take a strong stand against drugs, and I support strict punishment for individuals involved in the possession or distribution of illegal drugs. While I understand your concerns about mandatory penalties for nonviolent offenders, I believe that our nation's drug problem is serious enough to warrant harsh sentences. It is imperative that we make our streets safe enough for children to walk to school without being approached by a drug dealer, or witness a violent, drug-related crime. The protection of innocent citizens must be our top priority, and mandatory sentences are a deterrent for future drug activity.
Although I realize that my position may not be what you desire on this particular issue, I would ask that you please not hesitate to contact me on other matters of interest or concern
Sincerely, Richard Shelby
After Jerry Lundy read of Shelby's son's arrest, he contacted
his Senator again:
July 30, 1998
Today I read with interest the attached article from the July 29, 1998 USA TODAY newspaper. I want to bring several points to your attention, since you so eloquently brought them to my attention when I came to you for help. First, let's view the charges that should be brought against your son and determine why they weren't. He was on a plane that came from London, therefore, at the very least, he should have been arrested on importation charges immediately. Second, he should have never been allowed a bond because with the enormous amount of drugs he was carrying it is obvious that he's a kingpin drug dealer, and has been doing this sort of thing for a long time, especially if you consider his age.
Instead, this man was released after he was fined a $500 administrative penalty and turned over to the Clayton County Sheriff's department, and we have no idea if he's been charged by the county.
Let me quote what you told me when I called you regarding my son and the fact that he's been imprisoned on a conspiracy charge for drugs, and his sentence is life without the possibility of parole in federal prison. Your words were, "I'm sorry that your family has to go through this ordeal, I know it must be hard on all of you. But, any person who is caught with drugs should spend the rest of their life in prison. I have no sympathy for them."
Now, let's set the record straight. My son was never caught with drugs, in fact, he was never caught with money or anything remotely resembling drugs or drug paraphernalia. Only one man testified against him, but he later recanted and emphatically stated that he was told what to say by the prosecution team. I told you all of this, but you told me that you had been a magistrate and prosecutors didn't do that sort of thing. You had absolutely no sympathy for my son or my family.
Your son was caught with drugs but he was set free. My son was denied bond because he was considered a kingpin by the federal government even though they had no evidence against him. This was the very first time that my son was ever arrested for anything. He was a first time offender that received a life sentence and will never get out of prison even though no money or drugs were ever found, and even though the man who testified against him later recanted. We have no idea how many times your son has been arrested, or what his prior arrest record looks like.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but does this look like a double standard where senators and the federal laws are concerned?
My son was arrested on a Monday morning over six years ago and within minutes the press was called in, shoving cameras and camcorders in his face. He was plastered on the front page of the papers and over the television and radio stations, and he's a nobody. Your son was arrested on a Friday, but the entire ordeal was kept quiet for five days, and then a very small article was placed in the papers. Why? What deals took place over that five day period to keep him from being indicted on federal charges? What is this telling the American public; a senator or congressman can enact laws but they are immune to them along with their family members?
According to you, my son belongs in prison even though no drugs were found. But your son doesn't, even though drugs were found. My son was tried in federal court, but your son was given a $500 administrative fine and released. The federal government turned him over to the county, which is absolutely unheard of. Senator Shelby, why are you and your family immune to the federal laws? Why are the laws that you pass unacceptable to you and your family, but good enough for everybody else? What it looks like is that we have a man in office whose motto is "Do as I say do, not as I do."
I certainly hope that the people who voted for you remember this when they go to the polls, because I'd hate to think that we could be naive enough to allow you another term in office. You have blatantly shown that you are above the laws you enact, and have shoved in our face that you believe your life is worth more than ours. Let me make this clear, I am ashamed of you. If my son belongs in prison, when no drugs were found, then I would think that the least we could expect from a kingpin such as your son, with all the drugs in his possession, would be you personally asking for the death penalty.
We all must admit that these drug laws are out of hand, but as long as sweetheart deals are made for people such as yourself and your family members, we'll never have to worry about them being changed. Thanks for proving to us all, that your life is worth more than ours is, and that as long as a person has a senator for a father they have carte blanche to do whatever they please.
I'm asking you to help me get my son one of those "$500 administrative penalty" fines and secure his release from prison. I think it's safe to say that your son is no better than mine is, and should be afforded no special treatment just because you're a senator.
Sincerely, Jerry C. Lundy, Sr.
Editor's note: Since his son was arrested, fined and released, Senator Shelby has not responded to Jerry Lundy, Sr. letters.
In our office we have notarized testimony of Ron, the man who testified against Lonnie Lundy. Ron tells the story of how he came to testify against Lonnie and swears that what he testified to was a lie. He ended his letter to the judge saying, "I am willing to accept the responsibilities of what I have done because it was wrong and if that means more time then I can accept that. I have got to tell the truth and not be a conspirator in covering the truth up any longer. My life may be a mess but I'm not going to live the rest of my life with this on my conscience."