Curtis F. Slade -- #205921

15 Years -- Methamphetamine Conspiracy

Curtis Slade, prisoner of the drug war
I was arrested on April 16, 1996 and charged with sales and possession of methamphetamine. I have been in a Florida prison since August 12, 1997 serving a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence. My earliest release date is February 2010. I am a divorced father of two children - a daughter, 18, and a son, 14 - I have not seen in over two years or talked with in more than a year.

My case is a simple one. I was arrested for accepting a package containing meth. A confidential informant (who was a friend of mine) told police I was accepting the package for a family member. The police made a controlled delivery of the package, and five minutes later agents raided my home.

Police recovered the package, and I was taken to jail. I "bonded out" but two weeks later was rearrested and charged with Trafficking and Conspiracy to Traffic in over 200 grams of methamphetamine. The package contained 108 grams of meth, not 200 or more.

Prosecutors argued that since I accepted other packages in the past, at least one of them had to have 92 grams to reach the 200 gram threshold, which also just happens to be a fifteen year mandatory minimum sentence. Sadly in my case, the state of Florida was allowed to assume into existence more than 92 grams of meth that were never produced in court.

What is this country coming to when its citizens can be convicted of a crime with no evidence? If it was not for the people in the November Coalition, I would think this war on U.S. citizens has gone to the point of no return. Fortunately, there is hope in this country for people like myself who are slammed into prison for more years than can possibly do any good.