Ismael Lira grew up in the border town of Del Rio, Texas. He’d live there until getting caught up in the system for the first and only time. By his late 20s, Lira had settled into a life most Americans lived. He worked hard, enjoyed going to local restaurants with friends and loved spending time with his wife, Tina.
The Feds believe Lira to be part of an ongoing criminal enterprise, alleging he was part of an operation that saw hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanged. They allege he was paid significantly for his work. Feds used witness testimony to infer that Lira’s expensive vehicles came from drug money in court.
Never offered a plea deal, Lira fought the charges and paid for it immensely. His decision saw his charges swell from a few pounds to hundreds. Ultimately, a pre-sentence report attributed roughly 33,000 kilograms of illegal cannabis to the Liras and the distribution ring. The alleged weight trafficked and earnings would be enough to trigger a mandatory life sentence for Lira.
Lira said that, “When you go to trial for conspiracy as I did, and lose, you are held accountable for conduct that other defendants committed, it is referred to as relevant conduct.”
For over 17 years, Lira has been torn from his family, home and life over his first non-violent cannabis offense. Several states away from his loved ones, he spends much of his time alone in a violent Indiana federal prison. All the while, advocates in and out of prison highlight his ongoing commitment to personal wellness and development, hoping he can be released sometime soon.
Courtesy of Ismael Lira
Six Pounds Of Cannabis Becomes Hundreds
In 2004, the Liras were detained 50 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border near San Antonio. Ismael claims the couple were held …
Author: Andrew Ward / High Times