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Snitch City…

I’d been down long enough to recognize that the guy sitting alone at the 4-man table in the chow hall was new.  I sat down and he soon became chatty enough.  New here, but not new to the system…

He was in on a 7-year bit.  But what caught my attention was his mention that it was his third felony offense—all for armed bank robbery!  Here I am with a 25-year hit for a first offender drug case (in fact, conspiracy…not a drug in sight), and I’m looking at this guy, maybe 35, with a big grin across his face.  Hell, I was in the wrong business!

“Excuse, me,” I started, “but how do you get seven years for a third bank robbery…armed?”

“Yeah, they waived the gun.  I made a deal.”  Still, that grin… I had to hear this one.  With little prompting, he explained.

“Actually,” he said, “I lucked out (I’ll say…).  I had a friend with me who didn’t understand how the system worked (?!?).”  He went on to explain how he talked a friend into driving the car for him.  This friend had never been in trouble.  It was his first offense.

I already didn’t like where this was going…but I figured there had to be a point other than the obvious one.  I sat back, looking around. Was anyone else listening to this?  He continued, oblivious to my discomfort.

“Someone pushed the silent alarm.  When the cops came, I saw the score.  I gave up.  As I was being taken outta the bank, I saw my man was still there waiting for me!  Anyways, like I said, I lucked out.  I told the feds he was my getaway driver.

“Instead of making a deal, the idiot refused to cooperate.  He pled not guilty and went to trial!  He claimed he had no idea I was busting the bank!”

“And you testified against him…” I said, tentatively.

“Hell yeah!  They offered me seven years and stupid got 12!”

“You got seven years for a third strike armed bank robbery, and your friend got 12 years for a first offense?”

“No, man,” he squinted at me (he’s a fairly good-sized guy, I’m not), “he got 12 years for being stupid!”

My world shrunk down to a narrow tunnel between me and him.  I was frozen.  I couldn’t process what I was hearing.  I saw myself slowly picking up my tray, turning it over, and slamming it down on the table.  I got up and walked out, my ears burning something fierce, but the hall was in total silence.

I know there were guards in the chow hall; I walked past one.  He totally ignored me like I was in another dimension.  When, eventually, guys asked me what happened, I told them.  No emotion, just his straight story.  I don’t recall anyone making any comment.

I never saw the guy again.  Maybe they transferred him, maybe he “checked-in.”  You know, I’ll bet his “friend” never did know he was robbing that fucking bank…

               Dr. Publico 

Category: Plea Deals, Snitching
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