Raymond Gerth -- #14844-056

20 Years -- Crack Cocaine / Marijuana Conspiracy

Raymond Gerth, prisoner of the drug war
I am one who was caught in the goverment's "justice," another victim of the war on drugs. I was not even included in the original indictment against my uncle, but in the hope that I would testify, that I could be used as a pawn against my uncle, I was included in the superseding indictment.

This occurred about 8 or 9 years after the alleged offense. My uncle was offered a deal: plead guilty, and allow us to take all of your properties, and we'll only give you 20 years, and leave the rest of your family alone. The trial lasted about one month, and during the proceedings, just about every possible illegal element happened.

As I work now on my Motion 2255, in the last hope of some kind of relief from this injustice, I find that being unlearned in the law is quite a disadvantage; but of course, they realize this.

There were 35 witnesses, all testifying against my uncle, that in one way or another, there was some sort of drug business going on for the last 20 plus years. There were two witnesses against me: the only one who testified that I knew anything at all about the drug business was removed from the stand during the trial, for perjury; the other witness was a neighbor, who said only that I delivered two cash land payments of $18,000 to him, for my uncle's property (which was in my uncle's name).

You can be sure that out of all those witnesses, and the length of time that the "conspiracy" was to have lasted, there were a lot of drugs mentioned, but none were "crack". When the prosecutor elicited the word "crack" from a government agent, only in passing, I didn't expect to be charged for crack; apparently neither did my attorney expect it, because he let it go.

When all was said and done, I was found guilty. I have no priors, was charged with no guns or violence, but I was held accountable for: 14,655 pounds of marijuana, 171 kilograms of cocaine, 16.5 kilograms of cocaine base (which was treated as crack [100 to 1] for sentencing), and 90 kilograms of hashish.

This added up to a 235-month sentence. And for money laundering (delivering the $18,000), I received 235 months also.