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 Anibal Almanzar-Reyes #11820-018

Dear Friends at the Coalition:

Prior to my arrest on a cocaine conspiracy, I was a tractor- trailer track driver. I was not getting rich, but I was making a good living. I had a friend by the name of Gilardo Franco-Garcia who was also in the business of trucking. One day in July of l990, my friend Gilardo, asked if I could be his driver to haul 740 bundles of onions in his truck. Mr. Gilardo stated that his regular driver was sick and since he did not drive the trucks himself, he would hire me for the one day to haul his onions. I agreed and on July 27, 1990, after the onions were on board the trailer and on the way to Miami from central Florida, we were stopped by the D.E.A. The truck was searched and we were arrested on a drug charge. But there were no drugs in the trailer! Only the onions!!!

What had happened was that the friend, Mr. Gilardo Franco-Garcia, had spoken with the DEA and with some C.I. (Confidential Informant) about transporting drugs in his truck. On the day of the arrest, the truck was supposed to have been carrying drugs, but in reality it was carrying the onions which had been picked up in the Tampa, FL area.

Since the DEA did not want to look like fools, after the stop we were arrested on a drug charge. A false charge none the less . I will cut it short, but after I said I did not know anything about this transportation business of drugs, the friend turned on me and stated that I had knowledge of the whole deal! My attorney at that point said that if I did not take a plea I would be in for a long, long time for I had a prior drug offence. Seeing that I had no chance taking it to court, I took a plea. I was sentenced to l4 years and my friend, who was the one who thought of the whole thing and steered me into this mess, was only give five years and is home now with his family.

From the very PSI report I can quote the following: "According to a DEA agent, Mr. Franco-Garcia was hired by co-conspirators in Miami to transport the cocaine. Mr. Franca-Garcia hired Mr. Almanzar-Reyes as a driver. According to the government, there is no evidence that Mr. Almanzar-Reyes had any contact with co-conspirators in Miami or that he had no understanding of the scope and structure of the overall scheme." But I still got 14 years in prison! Even the Judge said that he could not see me as a major player, if anything I was only a minimal participant. But I still received l4 years and the man who set me up is home. Why?

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