Belton Lamont Platt -- #07616-058

24 Years -- Cocaine Conspiracy

Belton Lamont Platt, prisoner of the drug war
I don't disagree with "justice," but I do find fault with injustice. I was sentenced to 290 months in prison on May 23, l990 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine (powder) and theft of government property. The theft charge occurred because I took the body tape recorder from the guy who had been busted for trafficking cocaine, who then cut a deal with the government and, wired by police, began setting people up.

A jury found me guilty, but I am not guilty of the allegations that were made against me during the sentencing phase of my trial. Judge Potter (Maximum Bob) used hearsay testimony that was not permitted in my trial so that he could raise my sentence.

The judge used a conviction that was overturned in state court and dismissed years before I stood before a court of law once again. My sentence was enhanced, or raised another 14 years. The state charge was overturned by the Appeals Court and ruling that the state offered no evidence to find me guilty.

Judge Potter also relied on FBI agents and other law enforcement officers' testimony to establish an "extensive drug trafficking history." None of the testimony that the agents made at sentencing was presented at my trial before the jury because it was illegal for them to do so. None of their testimony came from witnesses who testified at trial or during my sentencing. The prosecutor only allowed law enforcement officers to come in during my sentencing and paint a picture that no other witness had testified to during my trial or sentencing.

There was only one witness during my trial who testified that I sold him drugs; and he was the once wired informant who said I sold him two ounces of powder, not crack cocaine on two different occasions. Which was another lie - I never in my life sold him drugs!

Judge Potter stated in the sentencing transcript that he would take hearsay testimony under consideration during the sentencing phase, and he did! He labeled me in the Criminal History Category 3, which is a career criminal category without me having any prior convictions!

God Bless you all, and may He keep you and yours through the struggle.