Yolanda Reyes -- #40607-053

20 Years -- Drug Conspiracy

Yolanda Reyes, prisoner of the drug war
On May 5, 1993 I was sentenced to 19 years, 7 months to be followed by 11 years supervised release. In addition to this sentence and supervised release I was fined $40,000. What - can you imagine - was I guilty of? Pause for just a moment and consider the possibilities if you will.

Was I, Yolanda Reyes, guilty of murder? NO!
Was I, Yolanda Reyes, guilty of kidnapping? NO!
Was I, Yolanda Reyes, guilty of rape? NO!
Was I, Yolanda Reyes, guilty of bringing harm to a child? NO!
Was I, Yolanda Reyes, guilty of running a drug cartel? NO!

I, Yolanda Reyes, was none of the above mentioned things!

I was guilty of being a small-time, street-level drug dealer who got involved with the wrong people, and a man I thought loved me. I know that I was guilty of something, but do you think or believe that 19 years, 7 months is justice?

I was a woman left with two baby girls and another one on the way. When these people came into my life, I fell for it and this man "who loved me so," which made everything alright and easy. Yeah, right! Look where it got me and my children and my extended family.

My hope and prayer is that with your help and mercy from President Bush, I will be granted Clemency. I have had an excellent record of conduct, I am learning and utilizing new job skills in my assignment at UNICOR, the federal Government's industry. These job skills also include learning how to properly operate a forklift. This is a great thing.

I have been separated from my family for eleven years. During this time my family has suffered a great deal and continuously are burdened with heartache.

My mother passed away while I was in the FCI in Danbury. I was unable to attend her funeral due to financial circumstances. My father is elderly and not in very good health. He suffers from high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. In February, he suffered another heart attack. My fear is that during my incarceration he will pass and I will find myself not able to pay my respects to him. Currently, my brother-in-law, Lorenzo Ovalle and my sister take care of my son. My sister has many health problems as well. Along with these health concerns she is also stressed and is in dire need of my help with physical and emotional support.

My children had to start working in the fields as migrant workers to help with their clothing - because my brother-in-law couldn't afford three children and a household, not to mention the monthly bills. Now, two of my children are adults, but they still go through difficult times. My eldest daughter, Eloisa, is 23 and just lost her fiancee and mother-in-law, whom she depended highly on for support. Now, she feels alone and is left to raise my granddaughter and look after four children that were left behind by her mother-in-law. She feels the need to be there for them because she can deeply relate to their abandonment. I truly believe it is too much of a burden on my daughter for she just recently dropped out of college.

Yolanda Reyes' grandchild
These kids, children and adults need help -- they need adult guidance. They have truly suffered enough. Don't they deserve a chance? My middle daughter, Marisela, also needs me. She is currently in college but is struggling to get an education. She finished one year at Western University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Now, because she is pregnant and having a difficult time she had to transfer back to Saginaw, Michigan where she will have to begin studies. Marisela encountered many obstacles when she was applying for college. But I truly and sincerely pray that when this is published the problems will be resolved. These children and young adults are struggling and truly trying to make it out there -- don't they deserve a chance?

I know these events and my absence from their lives is a result of the bad choices I made in my life, so why do they constantly have to suffer? I am very remorseful for my actions and have repeatedly stated my guilt in being involved with a ring leader and a small-time street drug dealer. I was charged with Conspiracy based on testimony(ies) traded for years off their own sentences and in some cases even no time whatsoever. I realize that I am guilty by association and have served ten years for my involvement. I am asking you to please find it in your heart to help me get home sooner so I can be that mother, sister, daughter, friend and wife those that I have left behind. Oh, and not to forget to also be a grandmother to my two beautiful grandchildren. My children have been deprived of both a mother and father.