Martha Garnica- 20 Year Sentence

I was a Federal Agent with U.S Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection; a Customs Agent for 13 years and a Police Officer with the El Paso Police Dept. for 7 years. I was charged and convicted for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

I'm approximately 2400 driving miles from home which is approximately 33-34 driving hours. For financial and health reasons, it’s impossible for my family come visit me.  To be close to home would mean the world to me and my family. I lost my mother while incarcerated and I'm still mourning her death. I have only seen my daughter once in over nine years and my son three times, and I never get to see my grandchildren.  This is truly the worst part of the many nightmares of being incarcerated - as I miss my family so much.

I was told I was being transferred to Carswell Camp in Texas, but instead I was transferred to a women’s prison in Hazelton, West Virginia. As soon as I arrived I attempted to get some answers, but neither my counselor or case manager know why I was transferred here and I was discouraged from filing an administrative remedy.

I program constantly. When I'm not teaching a class, I'm taking a class. I juggle between 4-5 classes in a week from psychology, religious, education or recreation services. I'm constantly trying to better myself in any way possible. I don't get in trouble and assist whoever asks me for help. I just completed the Inside-Out program and I will soon be part of the Think Tank.

I was in the PAWS program for several years and received my trainers certificate. I trained service dogs. The dogs were in turn donated through the program to handicap people, autistic children, diabetics and seizure patients.  I hope the First Step Act passes so I can be transferred closer to home and get visits from family.


 


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