Carlos Sanchez -- #0530925

36 Years, 6 Months for Being on the Wrong Bus

Carlos Sanchez, prisoner of the drug war
In 1995 Carlos was riding a bus from Miami to New York. When the bus stopped at Fayetteville, North Carolina (for refueling), two police officers entered the bus filled with passengers, announced that they were looking for drugs and weapons, and directed passengers to take ownership of their bags.

Three seats behind Carlos was an unclaimed bag full of baby and women's clothing, with cocaine hidden inside. A police officer asked Carlos, who did not speak English, if he knew who put the bag above the seat behind him. Carlos didn't know, and so was handcuffed and taken to the police station for questioning.

Three hours later, he was charged with possesion and traffiking more than 400 grams of cocaine.

Carlos went to trial where the only witness was one police officer. He said that Carlos told him the drugs were his, and "please put the handcuffs on me and take me to the police station."

The jury convicted him.

In the North Carolina prison where Carlos resides, he doesn't have access to a law library. He cannot write in the English language and is simply lost in our legal system. His father passed away in November of 2004.