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James Brumfield

I am currently incarcerated at the US Penitentiary in Lompoc, California for the crime of "carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime."

I was arrested on February 6, 1997 by the Thurston County Sheriff's Department after being contacted by a person who I had recently loaned money to. She wanted to pay the money back and asked me to meet her at a location that I picked. She had told me during the phone conversation that she had a friend that wanted to buy some methamphetamine. After telling her that I didn't sell dope, I agreed to meet her but sent my girlfriend instead.

She wouldn't give the money to anyone but me, so I borrowed a van, went to the parking lot and was immediately surrounded by police and arrested by the drug task force.

They searched the van I was in and found a sawed-off shotgun and found a dose of meth that was mine.

The woman that I'd loaned money to had been arrested on charges of forgery and stolen checks... the money I'd loaned her was for her bond. She told the police that I was the one who had given her these checks.

The state charged me originally, but when the state realized the witness against me was a confidential informant - they dropped the charges and released me.

The federal government took the case and I was arrested again on May 2 of 1997. I plead guilty after being told that 97% of defendants who go to trial are convicted and I was facing 50 years in prison. I could plea to 10 years. After 2 weeks I decided to withdraw my plea and go to trial. I took the stand to say that I had lied when I pled guilty. I was not guilty.

I was sentenced to 10 years and denied my trial.

The federal prison system is full of people who have pled guilty to charges they did not commit because the government has made it impossible to get a fair trial. They intimidate you to take 10 years or go to trial and get life!

Which would you choose?

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