The Florida Horror
I finished a season of interstate moving with a few thousand dollars in my pocket and set a course for Fort Myers, FL. I intended to polish and complete writing projects I’d been aching to write throughout my moving season. In December, Florida was one of the few places where I could avoid the cold of the winters months. I had enough padding where I could focus and write for about a month before I would need to pick up a job to meet my expenses.
Interstate moving afforded me little to no time to write. In fact there were periods when the demanding schedule didn’t afford me time to sleep. In June of 2018 in a little less than 4 days (94 hours) I worked 88 hours sleeping only 6 hours.
We woke up at about 8am, preceded by a day that included loading nearly a full 26ft box truck in Olathe, KS, delivering to northern Arkansas in the rain, with only one helper, and then driving to West Des Moines to position ourselves for the three jobs scheduled for that day. The first job was small but included multiple flights of stairs and a long carry in an apartment building. We finished the job in West Des Moines by about 1pm. Knowing we had three jobs that day, I tried to schedule the customer for 8am but she wasn’t ready until the previously established 10am start time.
The second job was in Ames which was about 45 minutes away and we stopped for lunch. This put us at the second job by about 2:30. The woman was elderly and so for ethical reasons, I went through the paperwork and the revised estimate required by her additional items with her son over the phone. We didn’t begin processes of packing, disassembly, wrapping, inventory, and loading until about 330. We finished loading by about 6pm.
The last job, was in Cedar Rapids, at least two and a half hours away. According to the items identified by the owner to the sales person, it was supposed to be about 800 cubic feet, but when we arrived at nearly 9pm, the actual cubic footage was closer to 1500 cubic feet, and we only had about 1200 cubic feet left on the truck.
There are a variety of factors that increase the difficulty of a move. Some which includes where the truck can be in relation to where the items are to be loaded from and stairs which was a factor in the first move of the day. Thankfully, on this last job we were able to back the truck into the driveway of the single family home. Unfortunately, he had many furniture items that had to be carefully wrapped, including glass, as well as other items such as beds and desks that all required disassembly. Usually you would start a job like this one at 8am and finish at 6pm with two experienced people. And while I have a great deal of pride in my helper at that time, Jackie Brown, a 56 year old man who was in great shape for his age, he didn’t know how to wrap, even if he did possess the mental and physical toughness to endure and persevere through this grueling schedule.
At about 5:00am, having finished two jobs with still an hour to an hour and a half on this job, he was spread out on the customers porch stairs smoking a cigarette, proudly proclaiming, “I didn’t quit on you O”. And I was impressed that a man his age, visibly worn down, continued to put 1 foot in front of the other and move items onto the truck.
We left the customers house at around 630am. I had a job scheduled that day in Minneapolis for between noon and 2pm. There was also another job scheduled for that evening in Junction City I wasn’t too concerned with because it was impossible to complete the job in Minneapolis, unload in Olathe, and make to the Junction City job. I thought I would get a room by 7am, sleep until 11, and reschedule the Minneapolis pick up for later in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the hotels in the area had no vacancy. I decided at 7am to go straight from Cedar Rapids to the Minneapolis job and then sleep when we finished.
Added to the exhausting difficulty of these circumstances was the fact that it was as hot and humid that day in June in Minneapolis as it has ever been anywhere at anytime, and the hyperbole is actually mild here. To either my amusement and embarrassment, depending on a vantage of recollection verses the span of time when the event took place, Jack bought a pair of jeans at Walmart and proceeded to cut them into some of the shortest shorts known to man, complete with exposed pockets. I still can’t figure out how at least one ball didn’t crown the corner of those make shift shorts like a baby’s head at birth.
There was a storage in Minneapolis and we unloaded enough of the job we picked up in Cedar Rapids to have room for the Minneapolis job. We were going to load the Minneapolis job and then go back to the storage and switch the Cedar Rapids job for the Minneapolis job at the Minneapolis storage. The woman’s job in Minneapolis wasn’t too big, but there were some stairs, it was brutally hot, and we had been up for 28 hours, loading a full truck at three different locations, partially unloading at a fourth location, and I did all the driving, so I was working the entire time, and jack was working nearly the whole time and got very little meaningful sleep in the small break he had from Cedar Rapids to Minneapolis in the cramped and rough riding truck. There was a point where I began cutting corners, and he was better than me in that respect. We almost bumped heads because at one point I wanted him to do something that could have compromised one of the woman’s items. He said “I don’t want to break the lady’s stuff.” I was a little perturbed by the response, initially thinking I’m the one that’s paying you, but knowing he was right in the sense that it wasn’t her fault that we were 28 hours into our work day and I wouldn’t want my items to risk damage for as much money as these people pay for these moves.
I don’t remember our exact start time but I do know we arrived at our hotel at 2:30pm. But there was an issue with the credit card because it was a business credit card that was not in my name. The hotel clerk refused to accept it and he wouldn’t allow me to pay cash. I was more than a little bit upset by this, childishly brandishing 5 to 6 thousand dollars in hundreds to show him we had money and were not trying to defraud him. He wasn’t going to rent us a room, it was merely an attempt to vent my dissatisfaction and stir up jealousy.
I found another hotel, I don’t remember the time of our arrival. What I did remember is I had to do laundry, and didn’t get to sleep until after 6pm.
I set the alarm for 2am. We were up 46 hours, and then we got 6 hours sleep. Jack probably got less because he was awake when I went to sleep. That early morning we went to the storage to unload the Minneapolis job in Minneapolis and retrieve the portion of the Cedar Rapids job we unloaded to create room for the Minneapolis job. At the storage in Olathe we had 24 hour access, and I had no reason to believe that the Minneapolis storage was any different. However, when we arrived near 3am, I entered the gate code, which in turn denied me access. There was a sign I hadn’t noticed when we unloaded that identified the hours of operation beginning at 6 or 6:30am. I didn’t have time to wait until then so we left that portion of the job and headed to Olathe. As unideal as it was to split the job over 400 miles apart, a job that was going to Texas, it was worse to compromise the schedule, reduce the volume of jobs for the period, and possibly lose jobs to cancellation.
I don’t remember what time we made it Olathe, but at Olathe we unloaded the Minneapolis job to make room for the Junction City job. We picked up the Junction City job and Jack expressed a need to take a break. Which was understandable given how hard we were working, and Jack didn’t begin with me when I began this story, but participated in 4 other jobs with me, including a direct delivery. I do remember the time when I found help and arrived at the storage to unload which was about 10:30pm.
We unloaded the Junction City job, the partial job from Cedar Rapids, and the West Des Moines jobs, leaving the job on the truck we picked up in Ames to deliver in St. Louis. I received a call from the owner of the company who told me there was a job we needed to do but he could only do the job that morning between 6 and 7am. In the box truck, from Olathe to St. Louis is roughly 5 and a half hours, due in part to the topography consisting of hilly portions across I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis, and the box truck having a max speed of 65mph along flat portions. It was around midnight by the time Bobby Jackson, my new helper and myself finished unloading the jobs and restacking the Ames pick up. Which meant having been up now nearly 24 hours waking up at 2am, working 46 hours before that with only 6 hours sleep, driving from Minneapolis to Olathe, unloading, driving from Olathe to Junction City, driving back to Olathe, finding help, and unloading, I would now be driving to St. Louis, picking up a job, delivering another at multiple locations, and having a third job to pick up after the delivery.
The drive to St. Louis was as difficult a drive as I can remember. The only supplement I used during these periods was phenibut which didn’t contribute much to alertness but did enhance my mood, and energy drinks. Of course there are physical limitations where caffeine ceases to have much of an effect.
There are periods where you nod and may veer a second alerted either by the feeling of the drift or the safety perforations on the concrete. If this occurs once an hour I feel safe driving a few more hours. Stopping throwing some water on my face and you’re able to maintain what I consider to be a safe driving habit. There are times when its scary, not because of what’s happening but due to momentary apparitions that occur as you struggle to keep your eyes open but can’t. It’s like fog or shadows that make it seem as if something is there when it isn’t or that the road is different than it is. On this drive to St. Louis I was nodding at 10 to 15 minute intervals and didn’t feel safe so I applied a different tactic. For the last leg, before the sun came up I’d stop at the truck stop. The truck automatically shut off after being parked and idling for 5 to 10 minutes. I would pull off, close my eyes and then wake up when truck shut off. The technique was to drive a half hour, take a 5 to 10 minute nap and repeat the cycle. When the sun came up I was rejuvenated and we made it to the customer somewhere within the 6 to 7am window.
This was the longest carry and the most stairs I dealt with moving. 75 to 100 yards from where the truck could be to his apartment building. Multiple flights of stairs, then an elevator and a long hallway. For someone who has been exposed repetitiously to difficult circumstances, you rarely lament, although the climax of the horror that will unfold I am lamenting due to the severity, but in this situation, as in many others like it, you recognize the hilarity. I don’t remember when we finished, I just remember thinking there were few starts that could have been worse as I began the first job of the day 27 hours into the shift.
I don’t remember when we finished the pick up, but we did have to unload part of the job before we did the delivery to reach the delivery. Even stacked in an L, it still forced us to restack the job after we finished the delivery.
The delivery was anything but smooth. The elderly lady whose items I picked up from in Ames was being assisted by her granddaughter, and her granddaughter’s overbearing style concerning item placement brought her to tears, which bothered me. And believe it or not, I was tired.
The job was set to be delivered to three different locations. The elderly woman’s assisted living center, a storage, and a few items to the granddaughters. We finished the delivery at the assisted living unit and the storage was only a few minutes away. We arrived at the storage, but the customer and her granddaughter were not there, only the granddaughters husband. They said they wanted to rent a smaller storage because they had less items going to the storage than they anticipated that could be accommodated by a smaller unit. The management of the storage facility was out of the office, set to return about a half hour from when we arrived according to the sign. It’s my belief that they decided to do something else and left the husband there with us since no one would be there to rent them a storage for another half hour anyway.
The problem was I was not willing to wait for them to rent another storage. I told him first day of delivery means you have a place for us to deliver the items. I told him I will deliver the items to the unit they have, and then I am going to the final address. I told him I will wait 15 minutes at the final address and if no one arrives Ill unload the last few items in the yard if need be. The situation escalated, and other than the circumstances, I was the main catalyst for that escalation initially.
We unloaded the items into the large storage. The wife still wasn’t back. We went to leave the storage and the husband would not enter the gate code for us to leave. The frustration was verbally apparent in tone and word choice.
They called the police and learned it wasn’t a crime to be impolite especially when someone is being held against their will. She had us unload the last few items that were going to her address into the storage, and the police made her sign the acknowledgement of delivery and the inventory sheet.
The final customer of the day was scheduled from between I think 2 to 4 and was unable to begin earlier. We had lunch from about 1:15 to 1:45 and started the final job, which was medium sized, had interior stairs, tight angles, and a decent amount of wrapping. All in all, we arrived at the hotel at about 8pm.
This was most eventful stretch and stands out to me which is why I can still recall the period with good detail. Few days are less than 14 hours working which means you may have an hour here or there at the hotel some days and get 8 hours sleep, but most days are 16 hours between driving, loading, and unloading. For weeks at a time. This is to say, I didn’t have time to write, and even if I did have time to write or promote, the mind is not a switch where one can turn from the mode of interstate moving and enter the mode of research, concern, and writing.
Towards the end, when I began to have access to broker boards, it seemed like the owner was trying to get me to quit. I would put together a first week schedule and he would tell me we couldn’t get the jobs from the brokers. Or after I would spend a few hours making a schedule from the boards, he would say I have this job and this job over here, and we can load (delivery) it for there. Then he would have me deliver jobs where we made very little money or where we lost money.
I told him we should try a new approach as things were slowing down. I scheduled two jobs in the Kansas City area, and a third in Wyoming that was a week away from the last KC area job. Instead of doing those pick ups, then waiting to find something in between or just waiting to do the Wyoming, he had me load up the truck with jobs and drive to the east coast. Then pick up jobs from other companies and charge carrier fees which did not cover the costs of truck rental, fuel and labor.
To put it into perspective, the last trip I took we worked for three weeks. We did only 3 pick ups. The 3 picks ups had a profit of about 8000 dollars. When I finished the trip, the profit was 5000. Interestingly enough, the close from the last pick up I did, which I made a direct delivery, was about 5000. Meaning, had I not made that pick up, I would have worked 3 weeks and made no money as my pay changed from a small percentage of the close to good share of the profit.
With what I saved I had about 6 thousand dollars that depleted quickly because there was a gap in between job deliveries he got us involved in. Where a customer wasn’t ready for delivery on a job we picked up from a company, and a job he had me load where the woman wasn’t ready for delivery. This put me in a limbo of sorts where I couldn’t establish myself anywhere until these jobs were done. I was living largely out of hotels which is expensive. Renting was impossible for me anyway because although I had money, I have poor credit, no proof of income, and I didn’t want to commit to a long term lease.
I decide I am done. I’m going to move to take some time to do what I want to do with the little bit of money I have left, a few thousand dollars and go to Florida. Ill write on the beach rent a room from someone or maybe luck into a seasonal efficiency, maybe attend some discussion groups, and Ill pick up work a few weeks down the road to maintain myself. My goal is to polish existing material and to finish and publish new projects. Begin to seriously promote, sell material, and eventually start a non-profit for the promotion of my ideas, and finally, a second non-profit to lobby for passage of legislative outlines. I’m excited to free again for the first time in over year.
I am driving on I75 south on my way to Ft. Myers, FL. Ft. Myers was the only time I left Wisconsin prior to going to Los Angeles in 2014 when I began to see more of the country on a drifter sort of basis. I was 19 and my dad wanted to go base jumping with a guy on an antenna where there was an elevator, which I suppose is quite a luxury given the fact that if you want to jump off an antenna, in most cases, you have to climb it. I remembered the white sand beaches and experiencing summer warmth in December. I prefer the more arid climate of the west coast to the humidity, but I didn’t want to go back to California so my first destination was Ft. Myers. I would write, I seen they had hotel rooms at weekly rates, and maybe I would stay there, or maybe I would go to Tampa or Miami.
According to the tow report, I was pulled over at I75 south at 309, which I presume is the nearest exit or possibly an intersecting highway. What I do know, is it wasn’t far from the Sumter County Jail, less than a 15 minute ride in squad car.
I seen two SUV patrol cars parking in the center divider facing the direction to go southbound. Shortly after I drove by them, the one was in the center lane as I was in the right lane, but behind me. I changed lanes putting the patrol vehicle directly behind me to clear the right lane for a motorist who was pulled to the side of the road with his or her hazards. Then I reentered the right lane after clearing the portion of the lane where the motorist was located.
Not long after, the SUV patrol car entered the right lane and put his lights on probably in concealed excitement of my Colorado license plate. I pulled to the side of the road and began to prepare my materials to proceed with the traffic stop. I retrieved my license but did not go to the glove box for my registration and insurance because I did not want to create any stress for the officer if he seen me reaching in my glove box.
I rolled down the driver’s side window and then noticed he was approaching from the passenger side, so I rolled down the passenger window. He asked me to roll up my drivers side window so we could hear each other and so I obliged him. He told me he pulled me over because I wasn’t wearing my seat belt. I had my license in hand and told him my registration and insurance was in the glove box. After handing it to him he told me to exit the vehicle and follow him to the front of his patrol vehicle. Something that was strange to me because usually, a stop for seat belt would consist of him running my license and my tags, and barring any issues with either my person or the vehicle, deciding if he wants to issue a citation for not wearing the seat belt. In person after the search and in the report, he cites that I seemed nervous because I had my license ready for him although I don’t see how the act of me having my license ready is anything other than understanding what a simple traffic stop consists of. I don’t think I have ever been pulled over by law enforcement and they didn’t ask to see my license.
He asks where I’m from and where I’m going. I explain to him that I finished an interstate moving season, wanted to get away from cold and take some time to write. Mind you, I have a few pieces of jewelry, two rings one sterling silver with a few diamonds retail value about $300, another ring white gold, two rows of fine diamonds on both sides of 5 onyx stones, retail probably in the neighborhood 500 to 700 that I paid 350 for. I also have a watch which black reflective metal $100 new pawn, and a sterling silver rope chain and pendant that retailed for $200. Nothing extravagant but the pieces look nice in the sunlight. I have $1212 in cash, debit card, business credit card, as well as my business cards. These are details I mention because he says “interstate moving huh, I think I might be in the wrong profession”? To which I thought he wasn’t, because I doubt he could work half as hard as I worked for the little I had to show for it.
What’s interesting, is the other Florida highway patrol was present with him almost immediately after I was pulled over. The video would attest to the fact that I wasn’t out of the vehicle more than a minute two at most before he had the dog walking around my car. Which is to presume that this stop and the way it was being conducted had much less to do with my seatbelt and having my license ready as it did with my Colorado license plate.
The dog hit on my car which was no surprise to me but I wasn’t particularly worried about it because I had 4 small gummy edibles, 2 to 3 grams of marijuana, and pipe for smoking marijuana. He handcuffed me and put me in the back seat. He didn’t ask what I had in the car, had he, I would have told him. I presumed on a ticket at worse a misdemeanor possession that would in all likelihood be amended to a ticket. I wasn’t being difficult, or uncooperative, nor did I have an amount that should meet the criteria of any significant offense.
He reads me my rights, I acknowledge them and I am willing to talk to him. I tell him what I have I purchased few weeks back, as many as maybe 4. It was less than half a pack of edibles, when he asked how many I believe I said 5 which speaks to the infrequency with which I partake. When I bought the marijuana from the dispensary in Denver, it was a total of 4 grams and maybe half remained.
Probably adding fuel to his fire, as something clearly was adding fuel based on how chose to pursue charges unrelated to my conduct, was the fact I had postal money orders in my car and receipts in my wallet that didn’t reflect my money, but were in many cases, sent electronically to the company to deposit.
After he read me my rights I was pretty sure I was going to be charged with a misdemeanor possession. Later he told me, he was charging me with a felony for the concentrates. He referred to the edibles as concentrates, attempting to justify a concentrate distinction by saying the form of THC used in the edibles is a concentrate, and the concentrate is automatically a felony. The problem is concentrate has to be a term relative to the natural form. Based on the description of the weight he reported the 4 gummy edibles weighed 38 grams which gives us a unit weight of 9.5 grams. The THC content per unit is 10mg, which gives a per gram concentration of .95 milligrams of THC. Comparatively, the THC concentration of the Critical Mass marijuana that was also found is 27%. Which means the per gram concentration is 27mgs per gram. Later I learned the concentration had nothing to with the controlled substance felony I was being charged with, but that the weight of something more than 27x less potent per unit is of the same severity as marijuana by weight.
When he brought up the felony I asked why he was doing this and reminded him that I have been cooperative. It seemed so excessive and malicious to do what he was doing with me. This is relevant for what provoked a comment from me later. I asked didn’t he have any discretion he could exercise? He said he had discretion over misdemeanors but not felonies. Which seems like bullshit.
They towed my vehicle, and then he drove me to the Sumter County Jail. The first comment he omitted from his report where I said this is what happens when you have an incentivized criminal justice system. He said it’s not incentivized. I said yes it is, when your promotion depends on you getting arrests and finding charges that lead to convictions that is an incentivized system. You have an incentive to proactively look for crime not be responsive to it in the public interest. I’m not sure if I went on with district attorneys needing convictions to become judges and judges needing strict sentences to maintain their positions but I definitely reminded him that his detective, DEA, FBI ambitions, etc relied on his ability to find crime.
Near the sally port of the county jail he said, I’m charging you with felony possession of the concentrates, misdemeanor possession of the marijuana, 3 counts of paraphanelia, for the pipe, the container the pipe was in, the container the marijuana was in, and a felony count for your car as a container. Oh and I’m giving you a warning for the seatbelt, as if to add insult to the injury. Of course what set me off was when he told me before we left the scene, that he had discretion over misdemeanors.
I was in such deep disgust that a person like this could even exist. I said I bet you sleep good at night too, knowing you just fucked my life up over some bullshit. I said this is why people shoot you mother fuckers. If you wondered why, you don’t need to wonder, shit like this. And you deserve it. That made it into the report. While probably not a very popular position with the likes of the people who will read the report, a sentiment that hasn’t lost even a mg of sincerity. How many lives has this duo ruined? And as I would learn by speaking with inmates and deputies at the county jail, these malicious practices and applications in Sumter and alleged in Lake county is not something exclusive to this officer.
After I made the comment, he elected to have the deputy at the county jail remove me from the car and retrieve his handcuffs. I wasn’t loud or angery in the delivery, but cold and firm with undertones of frustration. I had no intention of doing anything to him physically, but he is deserving.
The deputies at the county jail were not the subject of any hostility from me, and the light manner of the deputy booking helped ease the blow of despondency. My property was inventoried and I was placed in a holding cell waiting to be processed.
I was breathing and pacing in a space that is too small to be paced in trying to come to terms with this grave injustice that had befallen me. What did I do? Who did I harm? Who could I have potentially harmed by possessing what I possessed? Why would someone do this to another person? To intentionally and purposefully destroy someone’s life? 2 felony charges, and 4 misdemeanors, for the possession of less than 3 grams of marijuana and less than 8 dollars worth of edibles? Such unprovoked evil for what? It goes beyond the career motivation, to some deeper level of sociopathic sadism that is beyond the comprehension of one not affected by the same mental illness.
I paced and relaxed and waited for the next piece of information which would be my bond amount. After about 6 hours, after shift change, I was told my bond amount was $9000. This was my first experience dealing with charges in the bond environment, but I did hear that you only needed to pay 10% so the 9000 was really only $900 I would have to pay. Although this was much more than I could afford, at least it was doable. Until I found out that I needed a bondsman who would be willing to bond me out.
The first person I contacted wanted collateral but the only collateral I had was my car. He wouldn’t accept my car because it wasn’t registered in Florida. He told me to go to intake court and call him back. I am writhing in this acknowledgement, that I have done nothing that has caused anyone harm. Even the flimsy criminal associative argument that people of limited critical thinking skills are taught to regurgitate does not apply since all the items were purchased legally where they were purchased.
The following day, I go to the bond hearing and my bond is reduced from a total of 9000 to 2200. However, it doesn’t significantly affect my balance to be paid because there is 100 minimum to be paid to the bail bonds person per charge, so it is reduced from 900 to 600 but more important than my out of pocket cost is the reduced risk for a bail bonds person to accept my bond. I called the bondsperson I talked to the day before feeling confident that he would bond me out since his primary objection or hesitation was the overall amount of the bond. He was still hesitant and told me he had to wait for the system to update and to call him back later. A few hours passed I called and he stopped accepting my calls.
There was an inmate in the pod I went to who had a bonds woman he recommended. I gave her a call and began to explain my situation and she said what’s your name. I provided her my name and she said I can get you out, the fee is $600 and $2200 cash collateral. She said with a Colorado address that’s what I can do. I was shocked by her audacity that if I were in a position to pay $2200 I would just bond myself out, why would I pay her $600 on top of the full value of the bond? She stuck to it, saying because if your even 1 minute late they’re going to take your money and throw you in jail… and I stopped it right there having heard enough of this ridiculousness, the presumed ending that if I wanted to be grossly neglectful of my court commitment, she could help me retain my bond through such neglect.
I was gripped by reoccurring cycles of surreal anguish. Sighs and disbelief. Because I was from out of state intent on being a seasonal transplant, no bond person would bond me out. The frustration of having the money any other person in my position would need to bond out, but being unable to. I wasn’t going to get out. One day I’m driving in a car, and the next, I’m in jail with 2 felonies and 4 misdemeanors, likely to receive somewhere in the neighborhood of a 2 to 5 year sentence or more because of my mouth, for possessing less than 3 grams of marijuana, a pipe used for marijuana, and 4 edible gummies possessing the equivalent potency of 1.5 grams of marijuana. Marijuana a benign substance that does not create behavior within its users that is adverse to public safety.
You can’t escape the question of why? Why did this man want to do this to me? Was it the appearance of wealth and freedom I had, even though I possessed very little? Did he see the word revolutionist on my business card and did this stir up some zeal within him to feel justified in harming me in the interest of preserving his myth? Did I look like a criminal to him, and so even though the potential punishment didn’t fit the crime he felt I was deserving? I know what it wasn’t. It wasn’t based off of my attitude which was friendly, up front, and compliant.
It is difficult to escape the narrative, driving on my way to work on material in a new area in good spirits, pulled over, arrested, vehicle seized, along with years of accumulated documents, research materials, written work, clothes, shoes, hats, all meaningful possessions, and then released maybe 3 years later, with nothing but the cash I went in with and the clothes on my back.
Like a man buried in an avalanche who can hear the rustle of busy hands digging him out I find motivation. The acceptance of my call from a woman who was a lover, always a friend, and there for me with the uncompromising support and care of a mother. I was able to discuss my situation with her and she was going to call bondsman and do what she could do on her end. It was a boost I needed for the first segment through this labyrinth of hell, getting out. I provided her the number of the bonds man who stopped accepting my phone calls. She only told me after I bonded out, but the first bondsman she called told her that no bond person would take on my bond because the way the charges looked and because I was out of state.
In the processing room there is a wall full of bail bonds men. Probably 200 numbers, but when you go to the intake dorm these numbers are absent. I noticed there was a few pages on top of the wall by the phones. And these pages contained the numbers of bail bonds men. I called a few numbers but they did not accept the calls. Finally a woman answered and I did hope it was not the same lady I talked to the other day. She asked if I had someone who would sign me out. I told her if she could sign via fax I could. She got the paperwork together, Holly filled it out and signed it and sent it back. I filled out the property release form to give her the money and I was fortunate enough to make bond.
After paying the bond, the impound fee was almost $500 to get my car out. I am down to about $700. I need to find work quickly, but I also need to find help to retain council and fight this legal battle. Even beyond the significance of my own situation, is the situation of many others who are the victims of a senseless campaign to prosecute and destroy people who have neither caused nor intended any harm against the community by possessing marijuana or its derivative products. A lieutenant who was processing my release told me about a young woman who had what he referred to as a strip of edibles, who was being held on a $50,000 bond. He seen my paper work and commented that the judge must not have liked me, but I felt it was the FHP not the judge who was the offending party, to which he replied yeah they’re always fucking up the paperwork.
The truth is for all that is said about what law enforcement and the judicial system can and can’t do the reality is, they can do whatever they want to do to you. And yes if you fight it, which requires resources eventually you can win, but the damage incurred in the fight will be done regardless of whether you eventually win.
The first charge of Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor, possession under 20 grams is a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail or probation, $1000 fine, and 1 year revocation of the driver’s license.
The second charge for possessing 4 10mg marijuana edibles is possession of a controlled substance. A felony carrying a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison or probation and a $5000 fine.
There are 3 counts of paraphernalia, for the pipe, the container the pipe was in, and the container the marijuana was in. Each carrying a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail or probation and $1000 fine.
The last charge is keeping a public nuisance structure for drug activity, or as it is listed on the Sumter County list of charges: Drug House. Having less than 3 grams of marijuana and 4 10mg gummy edibles constitutes a drug house. A felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison or probation and a $5000.
In all, I am facing 14 years incarcerated, $14,000 in fines, the loss of my license, and all the disadvantages that accompany drug convictions. For less than 3 grams of marijuana, a pipe, and 4 THC edibles, benign substances, with no adverse consequences to the public. Who have I harmed or who could I have harmed through this possession?
Self evident it is that liberty is true and liberty is ideal. Defined as the scope or capacity to do as one pleases, liberty is true, because all the results we see in this world are the consequence of the free will of human beings, other creatures on this planet, and the interaction of the host bodies in our solar system.
Liberty is ideal because everyone wants to do what they want to do. In order for everyone to do what they want to do it requires the respect of boundaries and opportunity. Any creature with opportunity to acquire the abilities and resources to do what they want to do can do so unless they are imposed upon by another creature.
The only evil is imposition unless such imposition is to prevent imposition. Of course the denial of opportunity to acquire resources or abilities by a system is an imposition by the collective on the disadvantaged, which is somewhat unrelated to this story, but is worth mentioning because the seemingly complimentary aspect of liberty being opportunity, is actually only a boundary.
Again imposition is the only evil, and for those of religious convictions who would say what god said, but cannot see the nature of the creator in everything in the creation, are quoting the deities of mans imagination devised for the ungodly purpose of unjustifiable imposition. If the reason for inclusion must be specified, something must be driving the ignorance that led to this terrible imposition on me. What sane people, would criminalize a substance to the extent that this substance has been criminalized that poses no threat to the public? What person could feel good about profiling my Colorado license plate, finding a small amount of this benign substance, and then burden me with as many charges as they could find even the most flimsy legal justification for?
I don’t ask my creator for help because unlike the gods of men, who are like genies who grant them wishes, provide them justice for those who they cannot get justice against, and grant eternal peace to them and damnation to their enemies, the creator does not impose or aid as such imposition or aid in the interest of an advantage or disadvantage violates the nature of the creator, and the liberty with which he caused his creation to exist in. No help or harm has come to me by the creator, only by man. In this, I ask if you are of the means, please contribute to my legal defense fund.