Most Affected: Danny Rodriguez, Two-Time Victim of the Justice System

in Culture

Danny Rodriguez’s first sentence, occurring in 1994 at the age of 20, was eventually deemed unconstitutional, but not before robbing him of 12 more years in prison than it should have. Rather than receiving a maximum ten years for the charge, he served 22. After over two decades in prison, Rodriguez was released and became embroiled in a contraband distribution ring, sending items like synthetic cannabis to prisoners across the country.

In 2017, his actions landed him in federal prison, where he received a 33 year sentence. Rodriguez told High Times in March that he didn’t think he could get in trouble for an over-the-counter synthetic cannabis. He claimed never to have imagined that he “Would receive a 33-year sentence for something that the Bureau of Prisons gives prisoners 30 days confinement.”

Like the 1994 case, they feel the system has delivered him another harsh sentence, noting that other ring members have not faced the same consequences.

While fighting for his freedom, the now-50-year-old Rodriguez is housed at USP Lee in Virginia with a release date of May 4, 2046. At USP Lee, a high-security prison, Rodriguez has seen his health deteriorate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the while, his family lives states away in Florida, struggling with their own health matters. The family, which includes father Fernando, mother Gloria and his wife Yanina Cheij, hopes they can reunite before anyone’s health worsens.

Hard To Say Goodbye

Growing up in the Miami area, Rodriguez had his run-ins with the law. By 1994, Danny Rodriguez’s criminal record prevented him from possessing a firearm. That year, he’d be arrested and charged on four counts, including two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Initially charged by the state, federal authorities picked up the case three years later.

Ultimately, he’d be found guilty …

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Author: Andrew Ward / High Times

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