025 - PTB Discusses the Kardashians, Shylohs love of Trash TV and Alice Marie Johnson
Johnson was a single mom who was arrested in 1993 for her nonviolent involvement in a Memphis cocaine trafficking organization. She became involved in the drug trade after she lost her long time job at FedEx. Johnson had a rough like. She had a gambling addiction, got a divorce and lost her youngest son in a motorcycle accident.
For the drug trade she acted as a go-between, delivering coded messages by phone but says that she never make the drug deals or sold drugs. The drug trade was connected to Colombian drug dealers that operated out of Texas.
Once caught she was convicted of money laundering and structuring. The second crime because she bought her house using a down payment structured to avoid hitting a $10,000 reporting threshold.
Over a dozen people were arrested at the same time as Johnson.
In the indictment she was described as a leader in a multi-million dollar cocaine ring, and detailed dozens of drug transactions and deliveries.
In 1997 Johnson received a life sentence without parole plus 25 years. She was a first time offender. At her sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Julia Gibbons said that Johnson was "the quintessential entrepreneur" in an operation that dealt in 2,000 to 3,000 kilograms of cocaine, with a "very significant" impact on the community.
However, co-defendants who testified against Johnson were given sentences ranging from probation without jail time to 10 years.
Johnson applied to Obama's clemency program in 2014 but was denied. During her time in prison she wrote an op-ed for CNN. From this she got a bunch of media interviews and got in trouble with the prison because her permit didn’t cover that type of media outlet.
She wrote a book titled, “After Life: My Journey From Incarceration to Freedom.”
With Kim’s help Johnson was released. She was 63.