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Prison Cellmates & Jobs…

If and when I write a formal memoir—an autobiography—it would have to include the third of my life that I’ve spent in jails and prisons … some 25-yrs.  A significant aspect of those experiences would be cellmates and jobs… (But I’m kinda like Meyer Lansky; a full memoir? Not likely.)

Co-defendant Larry Genoa & Author, FCI McKean, PA, 1995

Co-defendant Larry Genoa & Author, FCI McKean, PA, 1995

Within a certain context, there is a freedom in prison of association. The First Law is that wardens, counselors, case managers and corrections officers—all being part of an institutional bureaucracy—spend most of their time making things easy for themselves. This includes writing and interpreting the rules to best suit their own situation.
The Second Law is that prisoners themselves are relatively free to associate (live, work, etc.) … within the context of the First Law, of course.

(The American Gulag is essentially a vast system of over 2.3 million prisoners housed in over 4,575 prisons; second-place Russia has 1,029.)

The only other preamble I would draw here is that there are a variety of  trial, sentence, age, security level, ethnic group and politics, in addition to crime factors, that enter into how prisoners associate w/each other.

(The American prison system tends to treat all prisoners the same w/out special privileges, dressing them in nondescript uniforms even as they proclaim that they seek to rehabilitate them for the “free world.” One might wonder how they really view that “free world.” A mass blend of twilight bland ruled by an elite few? They decry “communism,” yet create an institution that projects their pathological image of it.)

Wayne County Jail, Detroit, 1989

Wayne County Jail, Detroit, 1989

Prisoner association of generally equal group and “rank” is common. Either we’re assigned that way, or we seek each other out and are so assigned.

After 9-months in Detroit’s Wayne County Jail, my first prison cellmate at FCI Milan, MI, 1990, was a Colombian engineer who had worked for the US gov’t. He lived in Washington, DC, and had a wife and two young girls. He had an American “friend” who pestered him for a coke contact. (He either knew none or didn’t want to be involved.)
One afternoon while he was at work, this “friend” dropped off a package at his house, giving it to his wife. She left it on the dining room table for her husband. After he arrived home, the feds hit the house and busted them both (it was a kilo of sugar w/a smattering of coke. Under US law, that counts the full weight as coke).
Long story short: Unwilling or unable to produce a source for coke, the prosecutor offered him a plea-deal to 14-yrs or they would prosecute his wife. He took it. After his conviction they also pressed his Colombian wife for coke contacts. Not “cooperating,” they prosecuted her for the possession of a kilo of cocaine. She got 10-yrs. They had their two little girls sent to Spain to live w/relatives.

FCI Ray Brook, NY

FCI Ray Brook, NY

In 1991, I was transferred to FCI Ray Brook, Lake Placid, NY. It was originally the Athlete’s Village for the 1980 Winter Olympics. My first cellmate was a general contractor from Virginia. He scammed the banks out of several $million and got 10-yrs.
One day he showed me a state indictment from VA for scamming the sub-contractors as well and asked for my advice. I advised him to file for a speedy trial assuming there was a good chance that VA wouldn’t comply w/in the required time limit (70-days), and would otherwise tend to accept a plea for a consecutive sentence while serving his federal time. (He could always cop a plea down the line…)
He rebuked me as he had come to “accept Jesus as his savior” and would plead guilty and throw himself on the mercy of the court. I gave him Jesus’s advice: “Render onto Caesar…  To the Criminal Justice System, you’re just a coonskin on the wall.” When I saw him next, he had an additional 14-yrs to serve in Virginia after he completed his federal sentence.

Other cellmates at Ray Brook included a Lufthansa airline pilot w/a kilo of heroin under his flight seat; a Vietnamese ship’s captain, caught w/a load of Thai-stick off the coast of Hawaii; and a Cuban Brigade 2506 commander from the Bay of Pigs invasion, who was a chiropractor who defrauded Medicare.
My work assignment at Ray Brook was as an Account’s Payable clerk disbursing about a $250,000/month to vendor’s of the prison facility and UNICOR (Federal Prison Industries. Inc.). I determined the payments according to Treasury Dept guidelines, processed the computer billing, and passed it on to my supervisor. When I disqualified a $300,000 payment to local contractors for prison work, the fit hit the shan. (Of their $900,000 billing, I only approved $600,000).

(All UNICOR moneys, to and fro, are disbursed thru accounts w/the US Treasury Dept. I was merely following their own guidelines [granted, as a former criminal investigator, I could smell the contractor rip a mile away, but I didn’t take into account the “cozy” deal between certain prison personnel and the locals]. Taken from my cell early one morning soon thereafter, I was given a round of “diesel therapy” to another prison.)

Seamus Moley & Author, FCI Schuylkill, PA, 1993

Seamus Moley & Author, FCI Schuylkill, PA, 1993

FCI Schuylkill, PA, was new in 1992 and w/out a seasoned comptroller or experienced business staff, UNICOR hired me as Payroll Clerk. Among several cellmates over the next 3-yrs, my most memorable was Seamus Moley (shamus mooley), an IRA officer from Northern Ireland who had been busted for buying a Stinger Missile.

(We hit it off right away when he found out that my mother’s side was all-Irish, and that I could describe precisely the training camp he had attended in Syria … where I had been a journalist attached to the same PFLP-GC commandos.)

It was an entrapment scheme so blatant that the Miami federal court judge dismissed most of the indictments and only sentenced Seamus to 5-yrs for the one guilty verdict.
Unfortunately, the gov’t, being pissed off at the Miami judge, waited ‘til Seamus almost completed his sentence, then re-indicted him in another jurisdiction on the dismissed charges, which that judge allowed and gave him an additional 10-yrs.

Other cellmates at Schuylkill included a young dead-head (follower of the Grateful Dead) who was sentenced to 40-yrs for a 3rd-strike felony (#1 a lid of reefer; #2 a lid of reefer; #3 a sheet of LSD thru the mail); a smuggler pilot who’s airfield and aircraft were confiscated by the feds, which has since become Air America for the DEA/CIA; and a Replug PA state legislator busted for taking a 10-yr-old boy across the state line for a little diddly-time.

In 1994, w/the help of Congressman Sander Levin’s office, I was transferred to FCI McKean, PA (a lot closer to Detroit and family visits).  Well-known to federal prisoners as “Dream McKean.”

Peter MacDonald

Peter MacDonald

My most significant cellmate at FCI McKean was Peter MacDonald, former Chief of the Navajo Nation for 5-terms (20-yrs). Pete was given 14-yrs for “conspiring to overthrow the gov’t…” There was an election dispute on the res, it got violent, two Sheriff’s officers were “kidnapped” and two of Pete’s supporters were killed. Pete wasn’t even there at the time.

I learned a lot about Native American history from Pete. From the age of 7, he was raised in a gov’t-Christian missionary school (as was law for all Native Americans), forbidden to speak his language, wear Native garb or hair, and forbidden to practice their religion.
At 15 he joined the Marines (1944) and became a Navajo Code-Talker serving in the Pacific and China. After the war he got an electrical engineering degree from Oklahoma State on the GI Bill, and joined Hughes Aircraft as a Project Manager for the Polaris Submarine Missile Program. When he retired back to the res, he was elected to the Chairmanship (Chief).

(On Clinton’s last act as President, he commuted Pete’s sentence, after he had already served almost 10-yrs.)

While not a cellmate, I spent some time w/Gene Gotti (John’s brother) out on the track. I knew a number of the Detroit Family (working as an investigator to both criminal and civil plaintiff attorneys) and we spent time swapping stories.
At one point, Gene suggested that I distance myself from Novi Tocco, nephew to the Detroit Don (whom I knew from Detroit and often visited my cell). That was just before Novi went back to Detroit to strike a deal w/the feds in return for testifying against his own family (father and uncle). What a slimeball.

In 2001, I was transferred to FCI Jesup, GA. Around 11am on September 11th, I was unceremoniously thrown into the hole (Segregated Housing Unit) incommunicado. I learned the story of 9/11 over 50 days later when I was released and sent back to work and my housing unit. Just a little reminder of the essential political character of my conviction.

Scott Robin Roston

Scott Robin Roston

After that period they put me in a cell w/one of the weirdest characters I’ve ever met. Pretty much a doppelgänger for Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) or vice versa.  Scott Robin Roston is a stone OCD psychopath. Nine days into his honeymoon back in ’88 aboard a cruise ship he beat his bride unconscious and threw her off the ship to her death.

Witnesses said they argued at dinner over her eating sweets and using the wrong fork for her salad. Several days into my celling w/this freak I awoke in the night to his standing in front of the commode, whipping his willie w/one hand while he held his thumb up his ass w/the other.

I went ballistic. He apologized saying he didn’t think I’d mind, and it took me several months to get the f*ck outta there. My Case Manager said they’d move me asap “but it’s difficult to find any inmates who will bunk w/him.” They had to wait ’til some newbies were transferred in.  No shit!?! (P.S.: This sex predator is scheduled to get out July 8th, 2017. Be aware.)

In 2006, after one of one of my 6-month Program Review interviews, the Unit Manager took me aside and asked me if I knew that my file contained a Secret Service, FOIA-Exempt security section.
I told her that I did know (I already knew what was in it because an SIS lieutenant had privately allowed me to read it). She asked me that since I had at least 6-yrs remaining on my sentence (of 25-yrs, minus 15% Good Time), would I prefer to be in a prison camp (no fence, community privileges)? Yes, of course.
She advised me that she would get notice to the Secret Service that the BOP was misusing their information to bar me from a proper lower security status. (I knew that the file included a notice by the Secret Service to the BOP that I had been cleared of all threat allegations.)

Author w/Kaley at Auburn University Vet School Show, 2006

Author w/Kaley at Auburn University Vet School Show, 2006

She notified me a couple of months later that my status was changed and I would be sent to the first available camp. (My non-snitch and political quasi-status, often earned me the respect of both inmates and staff. Part of the prisoner hierarchy.)

I was soon sent to the camp at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, and was assigned as a dog-handler w/the freedom of the base and downtown Montgomery (in order to socialize the dog to the public for later advanced training). Quite a change after 16-yrs behind the walls, eh?

Before I got my dog Kaley (who lived w/me and went everywhere I did), one of my cellmates at Maxwell AFB was former Congressman Ed Mezvinski (D-IA). Before he was a Congressman, he was an investigator during the Watergate Hearings, of which we had many interesting discussions.

Marc Mezvinsky & Chelsea Clinton.

Marc Mezvinsky & Chelsea Clinton.

He was convicted of fraud and got 5-yrs. The camp PA-system confused our names all the time … we had to both respond to their calls. His son, Marc, married Chelsea Clinton. Small world, eh?

Two years later, I was transferred to the camp at the Pensacola Naval Air Station where I was sent to a Navy school for training as a haz-mat officer. When I completed training, I was assigned a 4-man crew, three haz-mat vehicles, and the security codes of all areas of the base (including the Blue Angels’ compound). What more could a federal prisoner ask for?

(What I found especially ironic was that two of my assigned crew were former pilots at Pensacola. One a Navy F-16 Falcon chief instructor, and the other an F-4 Phantom Marine fighter pilot w/73 combat missions over Viet Nam. They were convicted of tax evasion…)

Former Congressman, Ed Mezvinski (D-IA).

Former Congressman, Ed Mezvinski (D-IA).

After two more years, for a total of 20, I was selected for a 2-yr early out (to home arrest in Detroit). It was a Congressional Program for Elderly Offenders. Although clearly qualified, many were routinely refused (the BOP doesn’t like being told what to do). I was fortunate to have Congressman Charlie Rangel as a sponsor.

Over the years, my cellmates also included an Air Force general, police officers, CEOs, Mafia figures, Israelis, Palestinians, rock musicians and numerous pilots (being one myself) who flew choppers in ‘Nam, CIA-Contra traffickers, 3-different Colombian drug cartel pilots and more. Never a dull moment.

I had the opportunity to complete a 2-yr psych internship thru WSU and the VA (I have a fully accredited PsyD), but I figured going into clinical practice at the age of 70 would be a bit much.

My current (and last?) roommate up here in the Heart of the North Country (Grayling, MI) is Boo. Best pussy I’ve ever had. I got him at the shelter and he pretty much totally ignores me… Just the way I like it.

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), January 2015…


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Psychopaths: Inside & Outside the Law…

On Thursday Police Sergeant Drew Peterson (58) was convicted in the brutal murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.  Peterson joins a growing chorus of such psychopaths tolerated in the nation’s police departments.

Rob Lowe TV depiction…

If he harbored a psychopathic personality at a young age it was subordinated when he joined the U.S. Army after high school and became a military cop.

In 1977 he joined the Bolingbrook Police Department, Illinois, and was able to indulge his deranged appetites for another 30 years. He collects $6,067.71 a month in retirement pay from the public treasury. more…

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Emotional Prisons…

When I was finishing up my dissertation for a Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD), one of the observational-introspective subjects that I had was one of my own cellmates at the time, Scott Robin Roston, #87144-012.

Scott Roston & Doppelgänger, Scott Walker...

Scott Roston & Doppelgänger, Scott Walker…

Experimental subjects and clinical internships, obviously, were not available to me as a prisoner-doctoral student. 

But, no matter. The prison itself, both staff and inmates, are a living laboratory second to none…

Roston is a textbook case of a psychopath with an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  An extreme example of the 3%-or-so of socio-predatory criminals in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. (BOP).

He was sentenced to prison for 34 years after beating and throwing his honeymoon bride of 9-days to her death off a cruise ship.  She had infuriated him by “eating sweets, and using the wrong utensils” at the ship’s dinner table that evening.

WARNING: Scott Robin Roston is currently incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix, NJ.  This sexual psychopath is scheduled to be released July 8th, 2017.  Scott Walker, on the other hand, remains free at this time.

Having been a criminal/civil investigator out of Detroit for 17-yrs (1973-89), I chose to focus my psych doctorate in Forensic Science.


One uses the legislature the other a gun…same result…

Of course, one does not need to be a convicted criminal for such an extreme pathological diagnosis. In fact, most psycho/sociopaths–if they escape acquiring a conviction along the way–far more often end up becoming police, prosecutors, judges, CEOs and politicians. Positions of authoritative punitive power attract and facilitate their symptomology.

I was especially interested in the evolutionary and functional mechanisms of the brain.  In the prison vernacular, What the f*** drives these freaks?  Not exactly Dr. Phil…

I was fascinated by a significant correlation between conservative-authoritative, obsessive-compulsive, and control-discipline behaviors whether they were manifested by certain “legal authorities,” or by convicted predatory criminals.

PalinCheney-001One of the ironies in modern society, is that certain careers that attract authoritative-compulsive persons, such as police, CEOs and politicians, are among the highest % of criminal behaviors yet the lowest conviction rates.

There is a fundamental systemic feature to this reality. The prevailing socio-economic ideology ruling the planet is itself borne on the supremacy of predatory individualism over social responsibility. The otherwise naturally evolved ability for socio-moral development of the species is thus all-too-often traumatized, rewarded and arrested at an infantile stage.

All forms of normal cognition have a measure of emotional input.  Much of that content is learned, programmed if you will, thru our early experiences.

Shitty'n ShineyThe brain is a series of evolutionary developments over many millions of years.  The mid-portion of the brain, the limbic system (hypothalamus, amygdala, etc.), is often referred to as the emotional brain.  The frontal cortex of the brain is the  thinking part…what we reason with.  That of course includes how we interpret the emotions…for those who do so. The frontal cortex is the most recent evolutionary development to our brain.

One can easily envision that any number of physio-chemical lesions, including chronic or acute trauma, to any of these areas can and do cause pathologies.

When a sensation from the environment keys a perception in the brain (sight, hearing, feeling, etc.), neural messages are sent to both the cortex and to the limbic system.

The limbic system is an automatic apparatus.  If it perceives a potential threat, it will instantly override the brain and body and respond–normally quite fast…w/in a third of a second before the cortex can even consider a response.


Frontal Cortex: Just behind forehead…

For instance, when you get startled you jump.  If your forebears had to think about it, they probably didn’t survive long enough to pass on those genes.   This is a survival mechanism from our ancient evolution.

The limbic system also adds a learned measure of emotional content to all perceptions.  When you consider or think about something, the emotional content is added–it gives the content flavor…meaning.  This too is an automatic process.  Your deeper consideration–thinking–interprets those feelings.  Also, according to the emotional content, the various glands of the brain and body secrete hormones, neural-chemicals, etc., that affect our feelings and responses.

Birth defects, brain lesions (physical damage), and even acute or chronic trauma–as in early extreme punishment regimens–can have a profound effect on one’s cognition…on how we assess our role in life and empathy for others.

TrumpFinger-001Of course, one can also be trained to be narcissistic and self-entitled above all others.  All of these can create perversions of normal socio-human behavior.  We certainly have no shortage of that.

“Conservatives” are those who perfidiously believe that such perversive behaviors are normal. They have to believe that; it justifies to themselves their parasitic predation of others.

And as for nihilists who have surrendered a rational-emotive balanced consciousness of community, they’re simply “cynics that understand the price of everything and the value of nothing.”  It all comes down to what kind of society we want to create…and your IQ, EQ and what you do with it.

Dr. Publico (Nick Medvecky, PsyD), September 2010

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The 3% Solution…

Early in my prison “career,” I was sent a clipping from a mid-Florida newspaper about the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) holding hearings on the Coleman Complex they were then planning on building.  The national office of the BOP sends out a Site Acquisition Committee in order to garner public support, or at least, forestall opposition.

Scott Roston

When asked about rapists , murderers and the like coming into the community, their rep responded with an explanation that the federal prison system was different than the states.  “Only 3% of the prisoners in the BOP are violent offenders,” he said.  I’ll buy that…

Scott Robin Roston, #87144-012, is one of that 3%.  He was convicted of brutally murdering his bride, Karen Waltz, of 9 days on their honeymoon cruise off the coast of Southern California in 1988. more…