Glenn H. Early -- #04081-424

33 Years -- Cocaine Conspiracy
Glenn Early, Prisoner of the drug war

Glenn Early, 2011

At the time of my arrest I was 42 years old and the co-owner of a small automotive business. Government prosecutors, however, called my business a front for a drug trafficking operation. My accounting measures demonstrate legitimacy, as the government's inability to prove otherwise suggests. And until this nightmare, I had no criminal history. I was simply a small businessman.

In 1993, one year after my arrest and incarceration, the government presented its canard to a jury in the U.S. District Court in Chicago. I was described as a member of a highly sophisticated drug organization responsible for moving cocaine from Mexico into Chicago. The FBI employed a confidential informant working in Mexico who posed as a truck
Glenn Early, prisoner of the drug war
driver within the organization.

The informant was paid $250,000 for his testimony. The Mexico supplier allegedly gave the informant a telephone to call once he arrived in Chicago. The government claimed the telephone number belonged to me and, incredibly, the number I first heard at the trial was mine.

On the grounds that alleged members of the conspiracy had sub-leased a storage building from me, and that the informant was alleged to have my phone number, I was found guilty and sentenced to 396 months (33 years) in prison.

In documents I received through the Freedom of Information Act, I found that the telephone number an FBI agent wrote in his sworn affidavit, implicating me in the conspiracy, was not mine. It wasn't even close! With this single act of constructing the evidence to fit the Government's theory linking me to the organization, this frame-up was somehow justified within the scope of some purported, larger investigation.

Considering that the telephone number linking me to the conspiracy was not mine, one can see that my trial soon became a dog-and-pony-show. Contrived evidence and governmental misconduct tarred me, as gaining a conviction mattered more than the truth and the rule of law. Thus, I became a victim of the drug war. Government employees forfeited my life, liberty, and all my properties, seeing only dollar signs and another check in the win column.

Glenn Early with his sister and mother
Since this is a federal crime, I must serve 85 percent of my sentence before hope of release. With only 54 days every year credited to me for good conduct, my release date is now calculated to be May 4, 2018 -- when I am 68 years old. I maintain my innocence, but even if the government's claims were true, this draconian sentence is an abomination.

Pictured: Glenn with his mother and sister, 1996. Glenn's mother died in 1997