Michael Bliss -- #91671-012

30 Years -- Methamphetamine Conspiracy

Michael Bliss, prisoner of the drug war
I have been in custody since 1990 for 166 grams of methamphetamine and possession of a gun in a "drug trafficking crime." I will continue to be in a federal penitentiary until about May of 2022.

I borrowed a friend's car to pick up another friend who lived nearby and was pulled over by a "hot car" detail of the Los Angeles Police Department. They followed me to the gate of my apartment where they asked me what I was doing.

In their report they told a ludicrous story about having been approached by an anonymous informant who told them, after flagging them down in any alley, that every night for the past couple of weeks there was a male Caucasian of about 30-years-old who he believed was delivering cocaine. He said that it was obvious because of the high pedestrian traffic going to and from an undesignated apartment.

An unknown witness says an unknown suspect is delivering unknown quantities of cocaine to an apartment that is unknown. Don't laugh, that's what they used to justify the search of me and the vehicle. In the trunk of the car was an athletic bag with the 166 grams of methamphetamine.

I was arraigned in state court and the judge said he was not convinced after three days of testimony, that I was guilty of the charges. He doubted that an unknown informant existed. He also said that it wasn't the first time that the L.A.P.D. planted evidence on someone.

The district attorney moved to have my case remanded to another judge and it was denied and my case dismissed. The Federal government picked it up.

All along the D.E.A. was trying to get me to cooperate and snitch on people. They said, "We have looked in your phone book and we know you know some heavy people, if you cooperate with us, we'll have you out in a couple of years."

I told the agents, "I'd love to help you, but I simply don't know anything."

"Wanna play tough guy?" the agent responded. His face was red and his veins in his temples throbbed as he continued. "I'm prosecuting you to the fullest extent of the law."

I didn't know that he would kill me, but kill me is what he did. At 40 years of age, a 35-year federal prison sentence means that my earliest possible release date is at the age of 72. If I survive the food, water, psychos and staff that is.

My friends helped me with lawyer fees when I was in State Court, but there was no money when I was tried in Federal Court. I had a public defender because my motion for an extension -- so that I had time to get my own attorney -- was denied. The public defender would say time and again, "I read the police report and it's pretty much cut and dry." He would not interview witnesses, read what transpired in state court, or even sit down to ask me what my side of the story was. He would add, "Your best bet is to plead guilty. They may give you 23 years if you do - no promises though."

When I asked my judge for a fair trial I said, "I want a real trial, with a real attorney." The judge said, "That is a real attorney standing next to you ... this isn't Burger King, you can't have it your way here."

The first attorney I talked to in hopes of being able to hire him said, "You'd have been better off killing somebody. Three of the men in county jail that I met had received 12-year sentences for murder, one for gunning down a victim in the victim's home, another with a knife in a jealous rage and the other one had killed with a screwdriver. All of these men went home in 1996!

Michael Bliss' daughter, Gazelle
I have two girls that are with my ex-wife. She divorced me after having to go on welfare and suffered countless trouble and finally said, "I love you, but I can't make it alone." She left the state with our girls and is now with a new mate.

I've a new wife that has dedicated her resources and much of her life to help me secure my release. People do believe the fallacy of loopholes, sharp attorneys, and minimal sentences for a minimal amount of drugs. It isn't true though.

The district attorney even admitted that I had been dealt an injustice by the court and felt that I'd served enough time when I'd reached 7 years in prison. The federal judge has denied me a hearing though.

I do have a criminal record and so the judge decided that I should be imprisoned based on my past. I have never killed anyone, beaten anyone, raped, assaulted anyone in my life.

When I was a kid I'd been convicted of "joy riding," and had stolen property and purchased stolen property. All of that when I was a youth.

My wife loves me with all of her heart, but could lose her home due to the financial strain of legal fees and going it alone. My parents are getting up there in age and it eats my soul alive to think there may come a day when they who have always been there for me, will need me and I won't be able to help them.

I would one day like to find my children and if it is okay with their mother and new father, see how they are and be a part of their lives. I'd like to show my wife I was worth investing her heart and soul in, but with my 9th year in prison beginning, I find myself asking if this is really the best thing for her. Unless the laws change, 2022 is a reality for me and a crime for my parents, my wife and my children.