October 2006, eye lost a job from the resulting depression of losing m'eye cat. In November, eye still hadn't found work, and needed to come up with money for upcoming bills and rent. Eye decided to take an opportunity from our native neighbors. After all, Marty had done it before, successfully. Well, the first time. His second time, he was caught, but released, he received no charges, and our trip to Las Vegas for his birthday was merely postponed.
The opportunity was to pick up "workers." It involves what can be a bit of a drive, but it works. The neighbors basically needed a car and a driver. That meant me. Eye was to drive any one of the neighbors (in our case, it was the main female of the house who took care of everyone) and they told me where to go. Eye ended up at a house very close to the border, where eye was to pick up any number of illegal immigrants, depending on how many are available, how many could fit, and how many were wanted. They are told to get in the car, and one may or may not hide them. (Eye did.) One of the people at the house gives the driver a phone number and a city. Upon arriving in the city, the phone number is called, the person who answers says where to meet them. The meet up involves an exchange, the people go from one car to the other. The person who picks them up pays $600-$1200 per person, which is to be split with the neighbor.
Marty went twice because he got greedy. He partied a lot with his money and wanted more money to play with for his birthday. Eye went a second time because the first time didn't result in enough money for bills, and as the end of the month grew near, eye still had no job. It was right after Thanksgiving. We drove down. This time at the house, there were not people there who were listening to the police scanner to tell us when to leave, like there was the time before. Also, upon leaving, eye saw LOTS of Border Patrol cars. Sure enough, they pulled us over. Eye stuck to the story of thinking they were hitchhiking, but hid them because eye knew where we were, that even picking them up could get us in trouble. However, m'eye neighbor decided to break and even start leading them back to the house, but for some reason we didn't end up there (eye was in the back of the vehicle, she was in the front, so not quite sure what happened, but that's what it seems like.)
At the Border Patrol Station, they tried to trip us up and turn us against each other. She was locked in a room, eye was out in the open answering questions. Apparently, the car had been seen before, and eye fit the profile of someone smuggling, it was a pretty big car (boyfriend's at the time, not own car - which he'd also taken down with one of the neighbor's, but there was no one to pick up at the time,) etc. They informed me that one of the people eye'd been transporting was a convicted felon, so eye could get a felony charge. They also asked if eye had any prior arrests. Yes, a DUI and a driving on a suspended license. They looked it up. The officer said, "DUI Drug Metabolite? How much Metabolite did you take?" Idiot. They also wanted to know about drug history, they seemed particularly convinced that eye was on methamphetamine. Ridiculous. At the time, the only drugs eye used were hallucinogens and dissociatives, and eye hadn't done any of those since two months prior. Eye consented to a drug test. They didn't give me one. They asked a bunch of nosy "personal history" questions. After that, eye was taken from holding facility to holding facility all night, and then to court, where she was sentenced to four months, and eye was sentenced to two, but allowed to be released (to m'eye mother's house!) until the semester was over. It was a "petty charge," they said. And who was sent to pick me up? Mom, incredibly pissed, eye am sure, as she is VERY against illegal immigrants.
Eye had to do weekly drug tests. Once, eye went there pretty damn high on DXM and shaking, but that doesn't come out as anything. Another time, eye'd taken a diet pill the week before and ALMOST got in trouble for amphetamines (which the pills are not), but eye showed her the prescription, and then the test cleared. She said she thought eye needed help if eye was already thin but trying to lose weight, especially if eye was not going to be seeing people for a couple of months.
Eye went to "self-surrender" the day after Christmas, after a night of DXM and alcohol, and even "pre-dosed" with DXM before going in there. So, the intake process was pretty amusing. They asked if eye were on drugs. "Nope!" (after all, it couldn't be proven.) But eye was extremely wobbly, and the other girls watching me close m'eye eyes, and the way m'eye eyes were likely wiggling when they were open, they thought eye was coming down off methamphetamine. Eye was then taken to a "corporate prison" where the people go while they are either still in court proceedings, or waiting to be transferred to their final facility. Eye was given a tuberculosis test and a psychological test, and all these stupid tests. Their picture of me looks ridiculous because of just how intoxicated eye was at the time. They also attempted to transfer me to m'eye final facility the second day eye was there. Eye was taken way out to an airport by bus, and then taken back and re-booked because the TB test hadn't cleared yet.
In this place, there are federal inmates, and people who are in the process of being deported. Eye was at first placed in the housing unit where lots of illegal people were, and made friends with a lot of them. The second area eye went in was solely for federal inmates. M'eye co defendant was in there. She'd converted to Christianity. Eye made friends with her native friends, and an old lady who was in there because she'd allowed some people to use her farmhouse to store smuggled drugs for a couple of days.
Prison itself, it wasn't too bad. It certainly wasn't as bad as *one particularly infamous jail eye have been in. Eye spent time reading books, and making written suggestions about how to improve the prison, which eye'm sure annoyed the hell out of the people who read them, but it entertained me. Eye worked out when eye could. What WAS bad is that eye had no control over what was occurring at the house. A different girl moved in, eye requested m'eye brother cover m'eye part of bills til eye got out (but eye didn't find out he couldn't til eye was there a couple of weeks.) Well, the girl and Marty both lost their jobs and got this "fuck all" attitude, and then the electricity went off. They both thought it would be cool to play gutter-punk, and so became homeless on purpose, rather than going back to their parents. So, eye didn't know if while eye was locked up, the house would be lost, and eye'd be stuck coming out and living at m'eye mother's, which to me was a horrible fate, especially because m'eye car broke down about a week before eye went to prison. She is very intrusive, and we don't live together very well.
A few weeks before eye was to be released, eye was transferred to the actual federal facility. It was a women's Federal Correction Institute, minumum security. That place was nice! They had a better selection of books, a laundry facility where you could drop off your stuff any day, real soap and toiletries, good phone access, REAL fresh vegetables, you had a job 6 days a week, and got to be outside anywhere between 5:30am and 9:30pm. They also offered online school courses to people who had to be in there a while. The older lady eye'd made friends with also ended up going there with me, but was housed in a different area. The things that weren't as pleasant about it were that eye was on a cot in the hallway by the stairs (although it was fun to climb up the railing, then slip through the rails into bed) and that eye couldn't order commissary (an issue from the previous prison that was supposed to be fixed but had still been neglected - since eye had THREE booking numbers at that place, from initial arrest, being booked, then being booked again - m'eye $68 was on the second booking number, still. That place still has m'eye money.) But eye got to work out all of the time, and got to lose a few pounds eye'd gained from having to convert from vegetables to starches at the first facility, plus not being able to be that active.
After being released, eye went back to mom's house, and that night taken to m'eye house, from which eye had NOT been evicted, by Anthony, whom eye wasn't sure was going to be m'eye boyfriend or not after release, and Marty. However, eye discovered a few things. First, squatters had been inhabiting the house. It was trashed, and the washer and dryer had been stolen. Secondly, Marty had LEFT his cat there. (M'eye cats were at mom's ever since having to live with her before m'eye sentence began.) Eye picked about five outfits out, and vowed to return to clean the house and get more belongings later. Eye also picked up Marty's cat and put her in a cage, eye was going to get her somewhere better until eye could get work and get the house back. On the way back to Anthony's house, something happened to him (drugs?seizure?) He suddenly veered across the road and proceeded to crash through about seven fences, some steel bar, some other types. Finally, his car stopped on a chain link fence, about 15 feet from crashing into someone's house. They were illegal, so they didn't call the police. (excellent, because he'd given me a "return" present of LSD, which eye was going to be keeping tucked away for the next month and a half, which eye did.) He told us that what had happened is that suddenly he couldn't see. After getting back to his house, he went to lay down, and Marty told me all about how he'd basically gone to shit after eye'd been away - he lost his job, he let a bunch of raver kids stay at his house to the point it was packed - including underage kids - when he was almost 40 (quite a bit older than eye was, but certainly nothing compared to lots of the people he was surrounding himself with), contracted an STD, got the cops called on him, his house was being watched, his kids were taken away, and though had done or people had been doing stuff like heroin/meth/crack (crack used to be his "problem drug" many years back), what he'd actually gone overboard on with was basically just constant ketamine. And apparently was very whiny/obsessive about me when eye was gone. Basically, he was attracting cops. And eye'd just gotten out of prison. So eye decided to distance myself from him. And that's probably good, because a little down the line, he was busted in an ecstasy sting. And not long after serving his sentence and getting out on parole or probation, he was arrested driving down the wrong wide of the road with an underage girl, high on K with drugs in his car. And so back he went!
Well, back to the house story, and all that. About a week after getting back, eye still hadn't called the landlord because eye didn't have the money together and wasn't sure how eye was going to get it. It would START with a tax refund, but eye didn't know where to go from there. So, he called someone to clean out the house. Every single one of m'eye belongings, other than some pictures, a few odds and ends, and five outfits, were now gone. Eye had to start from scratch. Eye was working again two weeks after getting out, and stayed with a couple of friends who were closer to work than m'eye mom's house. After the tax refund and some loans, eye got the house back. It started as an empty house with three cats, me sleeping on the ground, and slowly became a regular house, but with a revolving cast of mostly irresponsible roommates.
Prison didn't make me any different at all. But eye learned that out of criminal activities, obviously smuggling people is not the path for me, if eye got caught so fast like that.