Sandra Patterson -- #02514-030

12 Years -- Methamphetamine Conspiracy

Sandra Patterson, prisoner of the drug war
Well, I can't say I've never been in trouble before, but I must say that with all my problems, I don't think I should have gotten so much time.

Now let me start. First of all I have been a housewife most of my life. I've been married twice. I didn't start getting into trouble until 1993. I went through a bad divorce and then went out of control. I started using drugs. My choice was meth and I couldn't stop once I started. Well, it got to where I couldn't afford to buy it, so I started to sell it. Not a lot at first, but I got together with this man and he said all the right words to me. I got hooked on him and drugs, which he supplied non-stop. Wow! I thought I was it until I started to get in trouble with the law. When we both got busted together, I stayed while he ran back to Mexico and stayed safe. Well, I got sentenced for that charge, violated my probation and got sent to a halfway house for 80 days.

I was doing real good there, had a job and was doing a drug treatment program. I met this girl there and we became friends. We did everything together. So when I got out, I still talked with her. She came to my home and we did things together with our children. I was working at Applebee's as a waitress. Someone I knew wanted to get rid of some meth and she was with me. She said she had a friend who would buy it. It was two eight-balls of meth. I said, "sure." I trusted her. Well, that was my first sell to an undercover. My friend was a snitch! I guess she had gotten in trouble and to avoid jail she signed papers to be a confidential informant.

I had stopped selling until she called and asked me to help her out. I know what I did was wrong, but I can't believe how somebody can sit right next to you while you're handing drugs to an undercover agent, then talk with you and go out to dinner afterwards when they know you're going to prison soon. When I was arrested, the agent I gave the drugs to said, "I don't give a **** if you do 15 years or 20 years, you're going to do it!" She was out for me to do a lot time. She was at every court hearing I had. This woman was on me to make sure I did some time. I was charged for selling within 1,000 feet from a schoolyard. I didn't even know where the schoolyard was! Since I had a public defender, no one knows for sure if there even was a schoolyard. But they believed the undercover agent. Instead of getting an enhancement, they charged me with count two, distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, so they could give me more time. Count one was selling. I did do that, but they charged me with only the 173 grams in count two so they could give me more time.

I would like to know, what good does it do a person to sit in prison for 15 or 20 years? Does it make you a better person? You know what it has done to me? It has made me very hard inside! I was a very trusting person. Now I don't trust anyone. I put a shell over me and you can't get in. My mother even said I look harder. I'm not trying to be, it just happens and you don't even know it. I don't want to be like that. My children have been the ones who hurt the most. Kids tease my 13-year-old daughter and say she doesn't have a mom. That hurts me too! We have managed this far, but we have a long way to go.

Why do child molesters get less time? And rapists and murderers, too? I'm trying to understand the Feds and it all boils down to money. And the taxpayers don't even know where their money is really going, do they?