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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #17

Updated: Jan 15


I got my first paycheck for working in the kitchen. $60 for the month.... HA...I make less than 2$ an hour. Love it. I have been keeping track of how many tables I have cleaned since beginning this job. Today I passed the 2,000-table mark. Big Congratulations to myself. This kitchen stuff is is hard work. But I am enjoying it...well I like that I am doing something I would not

Craziest thing I have seen/heard. Morning coffee...iced Frappuccino. There is a group of inmates that get iced Frappuccino every morning. It is made with items from the commissary. They even have a frequent customer card (every 5th cup is free). My buddy Mr. Jones (AKA Kenny Powers) drew up a frequent customer card and named this guy’s coffee service "Tweak’s coffee," (the guy who runs it looks like TWEAK from South Park) ... Great. Everyone tries to get me to try coffee (BUT I WILL NOT BREAK...I have made it

I want to change things up a little bit. I have some fantastic friends in here and after spending some time with them you get to hear some really great stories. I interviewed several of them and bring you what I feel are the best ones. I received permission from these friends to pass along their story. Here is one of my favorites. Keeping this private...We will call him Mr. Lilly (his dog is named Lilly)


SC: Tell us where you are from and your family situation?

Mr. Lilly: Born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho. I am 37. Married and have 4 children...including a new baby girl born while I was in prison. She is 6 months old.

SC: I have heard all sorts interesting first impressions about me SCOTTY CARPER....Please tell me yours?

Mr. Lilly: Ha, first off, we had no idea what to make of you.... Most people don’t have much hair here so we would laugh when you woke up and your hair was everywhere. You would go to the morning RDAP meeting without making any attempt to fix it. I thought that was odd and you did not care about anything. But then I found out you were detoxing so I got it. Then you started slicking back your hair for morning meeting and you looked like a redhead Italian gangster. We thought you were some corporate skumbag. But you always said Hi and were always wore us down. Also, you could not be more generous with your time. We are lucky to have you here. Most of us have never associated with anyone like you, let alone be friends with.

SC: Talk to use about your crime? Take us through that.

Mr. Lilly: 5 charges. Plea agreement for the following

- Possession of an illegal substance

- Conspiracy & intent to distribute

My sentence is 52 months. My wife was my co-defendant and is set to be sentenced this week. I should be out in a little under 15 months after completing RDAP.

SC: You had a very creative process for selling drugs (HANDS OFF) ...Please tell me about that?

Mr. LILLY: I sat down and tried to think how I could avoid any possible problems. Also, I wanted to limit interaction with the clients. I knew everyone in town, and they knew of me (but only a few of them physically met me). I had so many customers that I also had access to the biggest stores in town. I used Albertsons, Smiths (CHAIN), Hobby Lobby, and Walmart to position and sell inventory. We would position pills throughout the store in specifically dedicated areas. Say behind the CAPTAIN CRUNCH cereal in the cereal aisle..."4 rows back." Money would be placed there by the person wishing to purchase something...they then would receive a text where they could pick up the pills at a secondary location in the store. My contact/customer at any of the above chains would serve as the dealer and $ pickup. I never was caught making any transaction. Eventually one of these connect/customers was caught by the authorities and they turned informant to avoid a longer prison sentence. But this still was not enough, I was only arrested after they caught my wife on tape. She was not as careful and got lazy and made some in-person deliveries. Ultimately, I expect I would have been caught anyway.

SC: At some point you knew you were being watched by the federal authorities. . Why didn’t you stop? What did you do? Tell me about that whole experience?

Mr. Lilly: Multiple reasons. First reason is I was also addicted to what I sold, and addiction makes you do stupid things. But I did try to get out. I went to my supplier and told him I was out. He took me on a long drive and explained that he could let me get out for my own safety. I knew I was making him lots of money, but I didn’t know how much. He explained I was making too much for him and that he was supplied by a specific Mexican Cartel. Getting out would be dangerous for my family. I believed him at the time. Later after spending over a year in County jail that is not how I believe the Cartel works...sure you don’t mess with any Cartels but the only time you are really messed with is when you owe them money. My contact just didn’t want me to leave.... I met members of the Cartel that he was supposedly connected with and they laughed.... again, they don’t threaten dealers to leave.... there are plenty more to step up. I was surprised to hear that they operated that way but then again it made sense.

But the real reason I knew the feds were on to me was when I was working on my new truck, and I found a tracking device under my car. I was terrified but at the time I didn’t know who had placed it there. I took the device and placed it on a neighbor’s car that was the same color and similar model down the street. I waited in my mom’s car and followed my neighbor the next morning.... I saw two generic fed cars following my neighbor’s car for the whole morning...they followed him for a couple days until they figured it out. Then I noticed the cars following me again. It was funny. In my pre-sentence report the feds noted they had been duped and realized I was on to them. But they still didn’t arrest me for another 6 months. Everyone thought I was paranoid or seeing things. It wasn’t until the feds showed up at my house and broke down the door that my wife/friends believed me.

SC: Tell me about your Detox experience?

Mr. Lilly: I was taking around 70 pills a day (30 mg OXY). It started out as a prescription for a torn rotator cuff that wouldn’t heal. When I was eventually arrested, they found Fentanyl, Marijuana, Alcohol, Suboxone, Ketamine, Diludine, and Percocet in my system. The reason I mention this is to illustrate how much and what oxy is cut with. I was only drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. The other medications were used in the batches of Oxycontin I had.

My detox was the worst experience of my life. Right before I was arrested when the feds were breaking down the door, I popped about 10/15 pills because I knew I was going to jail. Shouldn’t have done that. Over 67 days in county jail I lost 63lbs... Had 7 seizures and was taken to the hospital twice. Every part of my body shut down. I thought I was going to die. Detoxing is hell on earth.

SC: Do you think prison works?

Mr. Lilly: This is my first time in jail. But the two places I have been a clinic in teaching someone to commit crimes. There are absolutely no programs, nothing to just breeds anger and pain. Maybe they work for a violent criminal, but it just seems like you are being babysit and wasting taxpayer money.

The worst part of prison is the arbitrary rules. Last week I was forced to sign a piece of paper that I can’t have any contact with my wife until after I get out and get off probation, which will be five years from now. The repercussion if I do speak with her are serious...We have a brand-new baby girl. How is that supposed to work? My mom is taking my girl for now. But I don’t see how you can keep a married couple from communicating. I am fighting this, but it is frustrating. If something happened to me my child would go into the system. How is that better for anyone?


We have been waiting for Mr. Lilly’s wife to be sentenced and she went in front of a judge today. She was sentenced to a shorter term than Mr. Lilly (28 months). She had an additional charge and failed 2 urine tests during pretrial (which can put you in jail’s a big mistake that can cause you extra time). Same judge, same attorney as her husband. The only difference between her and her husband was she was prepped for the judge and gave a huge Mia culpa (apology) for her part in her crime. I helped write her speech for her (Let me be honest.... I completely wrote her speech).

One of things I have learned from the group I am part of (white collar advice, prison professors) is how important is to accept your role (even if you didn’t do anything act like you did) and present a powerful case for how you have bettered yourself. The reason I mention this to everyone is I cannot tell how important is to speak to the judge during sentencing. I am convinced (and of course I don’t really know) if I would have prepped and spoke to my judge about all I had been doing productively for the 2 years prior to my trial and taken responsibility for my part in my crime I would have received a much shorter sentence (slim chance just probation). My attorney was a savvy litigator, but he gave me absolutely no prep on what to say to my judge. I am unhappy about that. This part of the legal process does not seem to receive the importance it should. My attorney first mentioned speaking to the judge immediately prior to my sentencing hearing (that day) saying "you can say something if you want." IF I WANT????? ARE YOU KIDDING. This was my biggest mistake (besides driving to Mexico) and one of my biggest regrets. I should have had a massive speech encompassing everything.

Mr. Lilly’s wife had the same judge, more charges, and failed 2 UI tests.... she should have expected a longer sentence then her husband. The only difference is she took advantage of her opportunity to talk to the judge. Something I did not do. I wish I had. At the very least I think it is interesting. It is hard not to compare sentences in here...but the once common theme is anyone who handles their sentencing hearing well received far shorter sentences.

Be safe everyone. Talk soon.

Comments from Dad

Pat and I are spending the week in Maui, and I lack the computer resources that I have at home. So, if there are more editing mistakes than normal ----Forgive. Scott creates these newsletters standing at a grimy keyboard in a hallway. My circumstances today are better than his but still less than ideal. We left the rainstorms in Northern California (it is now clear and sunny there) for rainstorms in Napili Beach. Do I hear many expressions of sympathy? No. Certainly not from Scott.

Weekly newsletter. week 17
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