Hey Reddit! I've been meaning to do this for the last couple months but am finally getting around to it. I figure I'll keep the description short and sweet, and let the questions fill in the details.

I graduated college with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, but because I graduated during the oil downturn (gas prices went from 4$ to 2$) I was saddled with a load of student loans and no good way to pay them off. So, I decided to try and smuggle drugs by swallowing a bunch of cocaine fill packages in Panama, and flying them back into the U.S.. Unfortunately, one of the packages broke inside me, I had to call myself into the hospital in Florida and they cut them out of me. After nearly dying, spending 10 days in an induced coma, and waking up delusional, I ended up with a prison sentence, which I served, and got released this last February.

Hope you enjoy, and I'll answer your questions as best I can! If I can't get to them in these next couple hours, I'll make sure I answer them soon. I didn't have time to add the different police documents or medical records as proof but if you want, I'll add some of those as I go. For now, here's my Florida Department of Corrections ID.

Proof https://i.imgur.com/68RCNbZ.jpg

Prison ID https://imgur.com/IUQj20F

Comments: 185 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

Crotean26 karma

How did you intend to launder the money into your student debt? Its not like you can just deposit 50k in cash and make a loan payment. Also this a great example of how screwed up the US educational system is when someone intelligent with a great degree turns to drug smuggling because of student loans.

Luke-__-38 karma

I was going to be working a full time job, put all that money towards my loans, and use the dirty money to pay for the things that could easily be paid in cash (food, rent, etc.). And you aren't wrong. There's many variables that go into that, and although I will say I got myself into this predicament, debt-wise, unknowingly, I'm not going to let my capacity to choose be taken away from me and dismiss the responsibility for my actions. I don't know if that makes sense, but I'm essentially saying that although the system is screwed up, I'm still an individual who isn't entirely a product of my environment.

Crotean12 karma

A good point, it was your decision, but in a fair and equitable country you never should have been put into a position where you needed to make that decision.

Luke-__-12 karma

This is true. I appreciate your views.

PortugueseBread25 karma

This may be a dumb question, but how did you realize the package broke inside of you? How did you feel once you realized what happened?

Luke-__-30 karma

No question is dumb. But I actually was outside the hotel that I was going to pass them in and was feeling nauseous. I then felt my right side start convulsing and knew something was wrong. When I started dry heaving, it was so violent that I couldn't even talk to the receptionist. There was a subway across the road and so I went to get some water to be able to force any of the packets that might have come up for fear of choking because I was alone. Then, the dry heaving stopped, and about 10 minutes later I started to speed.

Troppin15 karma

No question is dumb.

Have you ever seen a man eat his own head?

Luke-__-26 karma

Twice.

N0_R0B05 karma

Was it right after you woke up form the coma? If so you may have been hallucinating.

Luke-__-7 karma

Now that you mention it....

oleada875 karma

What do you mean you started to speed?

Luke-__-16 karma

Basically, I started to feel the effects of the cocaine. I waited for a bit but it eventually got the point where it was so strong that I knew I needed to call the hospital or I was probably going to die.

oleada876 karma

Okay that makes sense, that must have been a horrible sensation

Luke-__-11 karma

I used to not be able to tell the story because I’d start dry heaving again. It was bad. All things fade with time though.

oleada875 karma

I'm assuming doing coke and other drugs is something you don't desire to do anymore...

Luke-__-8 karma

Not anytime soon. But I wouldn’t say that I’m anti drug by any means. I never used very much before this anyways.

MeltdownInteractive3 karma

What was the bag? Just a plain plastic shopping bag? Surely this has happened before to other people so to keep safe you’d use some other sort of bag?

Luke-__-7 karma

No. It was fingers of a latex glove covered in a layer of hot glue. I think it very rarely happens to others and so I didn't have a good guide as to what would work. The main issue though was that I didn't swallow 7 or 8 every 30 minutes and instead was rushed because of my flight and so swallowed all 48 at once, causing them to get stuck in the entry way to my small intestine and eventually bursting.

wenttomall24 karma

How was the treatment inside? Were you ever been approached by anyone and offered protection? Did any gang member tried to recruit you?And how are pedophiles treated?

Luke-__-41 karma

You'd find a good mix of normal, and sadistic guards and prisoners. It isn't like how the movies and other ex-prisoners portray it. Sure, theres violence, pedophiles, rapes, gangs, and all that. Which, I could go into more detail about them, but for the most part, its just a lot of boredom and longing for the outside. I was approached because of my looks, but had no problems when I told them I wasn't gay. There's enough openly gay people there now and they are cracking down so much on rape that that stuff doesn't happen as much anymore.

Stranger198216 karma

Hi Luke, what are your plans for the future?

Luke-__-28 karma

Hey stranger, I am actually working right now for an oil company, unfortunately not as an engineer, but am really just trying to work my ass off to pay off my student loans as quickly as I can. I'd like to try and sail around the world with some friends as soon as I get free of debt and off probation.

pnl169911 karma

How did you explain your criminal record when you interviewed?

Luke-__-1 karma

I tried to present it as a mistake and experience that I learned from, because that’s what it was. I guess the goal is to get them to empathize with you, not in a manipulative way, but to show them that you are a human who makes errors but is working to better yourself still.

emuatemydingo14 karma

If you had to give one piece of advice to anyone going into the US Federal prison system, what would it be? Also, do you reckon you would have gotten away with the capsules if they didn’t break?

Luke-__-24 karma

Actually, because I had made it inside the states and called a hospital within Florida, they charged me on the state level and I did my time in the Florida Department of Corrections. But, it would be to be confident but not arrogant; kind but not naive; and to not be afraid. Nothing in life is as bad as we believe it will be.

Skanderani12 karma

Did you just wake up one day and decide to fly to Panama and just ask around for some yey, or did you have a hookup?

Luke-__-16 karma

No, it was definitely a planned decision that started when I traveled to Peru and found the best cocaine I'd ever tried for 1/20th of what I could get it for in the states. I knew what I was getting myself into, what I didn't know, was how I was going to get the illicit substance in bulk down there. That was a whole ordeal in and of itself.

Mr-Blah11 karma

That was a whole ordeal in and of itself.

Go on....

Luke-__-34 karma

I attended a music festival in Panama City called “Day After Festival” where I located someone selling cocaine. I asked him to take me to his supplier, as the kid was probably only 16, and said I wanted to buy a large amount. Once I was taken to the supplier, I explained that I was looking to buy a large amount, would be weighing and testing each purchase, and that if he consistently held up his end, I would continue buying. I then gave him a public location in the city and a time to meet, never exchanging names or phone numbers, as I wanted to protect myself, and him as much as possible. For six days, I’d go jogging to the location, give him a new location date and time, make the exchange, and jog back to the hostel. I wouldn’t tell him how much I was looking to buy total that way he would never get the idea to rob me, as he was always expecting me to keep coming back. On the last day when I got the total I needed, I let him know I wouldn’t be coming back. With a surprised look on his face, we shook hands and I ran off again like I always had. Still to this day I don’t have any idea who he was.

Mr-Blah28 karma

You need to write a movie.

I'd watch that.

Luke-__-21 karma

Maybe one day.

cartman4prez10 karma

Strange question but I am sure you must feel “happy” that you spent time in a US prison vs if the cocaine had burst while you were in Panama? Did your family visit and support you through this?

Luke-__-13 karma

Oh yeah, definitely. Panamanian prison would have been far worse, although, it would have been an interesting experience. Not sure if the hospitals down there could have saved me though in the way the hospitals here did. Also, yes they did. I could not have asked for better parents, siblings, extended family, and friends through the whole process. I live in Ohio, and got visited about once every 3 weeks down in Florida from a variety of people.

WalkingWalruses3 karma

How did your parents react when they found out?

Luke-__-14 karma

My parents were actually in India at the time doing mission work. They basically got a call finding out what happened and that I may not survive from my brother. I’ve heard horror stories from that time. They flew home and were there for me when I woke up from the coma. To this day I have never heard my parents yell at me as they are fairly stoic in their control of emotion but obviously they were disappointed and we had many talks about life and decisions. I’m super close with my whole family.

annachristineAAC10 karma

What was it like waking up from a coma?

Luke-__-21 karma

Weird to put it simply. I still had the intubation tube in my mouth and my hands were bundled up around these cup things to keep me from doing any damage or pulling the tube out. My parents were there for me thankfully when I woke up and so that was helpful. Mentally, I had a lot of memories from when I was asleep and so I was pretty confused to the exact reason I was in the hospital for a bit.

[deleted]2 karma

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Luke-__-18 karma

I just google searched Monkeybone, and although I'll be adding it to my movies to watch, I'm sure it wasn't like that. If you’ve ever had an extremely clear lucid dream, that’s about what it was like. They were real enough that when I woke up, I wasn’t sure why I was in the hospital, and insisted to my parents that some of these memories were actually the reason I was there. The dream/memories ranged from horrible, in which I was a homeless drug addict, to indescribable as if I felt I understood everything. I could talk for hours about these as they are still to this day very fresh in my memories, but don’t have time for that now.

[deleted]2 karma

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Luke-__-6 karma

Thats great advice. I actually had the same idea and have them all saved on my computer. Wrote them out soon after getting home from the hospital.

poilsoup23 karma

Any chance youd he willing to share them?

Luke-__-4 karma

To be honest, they are extremely personal to me, but I'm a huge fan of transparency and education, and so, sure. I will work on getting back to this comment and providing a link to them when I have time after the AMA.

poilsoup23 karma

Thank you! Also, you said you were out for 10 days, based on your coma dreams(?) How long did you think had passed?

Luke-__-8 karma

I thought it had been over a month. And because of the nature of my comatose memories, I thought I had been a homeless drug addict for a long time, and that I got picked up by the police for laying in the street and that thats why I was in the hospital. Coming back to reality was one of the strangest things I've every experienced.

sinnoso9 karma

What is your favorite food?

Luke-__-21 karma

In regular life, spaghetti. In prison, cake. I am not a fan of frosting really, but while incarcerated I could eat that stuff plain all day. Lack of sweets I guess.

whatsthehappenstance8 karma

Why didn't you get a temporary job outside of your field? What was the payoff for a successful trip? Why didn't you sell weed instead like a rational person would? Have you ever seen Locked Up Abroad? You'd still be in a Panamanian jail if caught there.

Luke-__-16 karma

Haha, I appreciate the multitude of questions. In the order of your questions: I could have but my debt is 130K and would take forever. The payoff would have been 50k. Weed doesn't profit enough. I have not been locked up abroad, but was in handcuffs being taken to jail in Nicaragua once but they let us go. And yeah probably.

Troppin9 karma

I'd like to hear this Nicaragua story.

Luke-__-21 karma

Haha, well I'll try to keep it short. I actually was looking for cocaine there for this same endeavor and found a kid who was selling. He took me to a place, sold me a small amount, and I went back to my hostel. It was flour haha. So I went downtown and ended up finding him talking to some girl. He saw me and started running. My buddy and I chased him down the beach and I caught him as he was trying to slip through some alley. I'm not a violent person, and so really just wanted my money back from him, but all of a sudden the police come out of nowhere (must have seen me chasing him) and the one cop takes off his motorcycle helmet and bashes this guy over the head, knocking him out.

The police chiefs nephew was in the area and asked to come over to translate. Apparently he said that that guy is known for selling fake cocaine to tourists and that that was probably it. So, they put my buddy and I in handcuffs and start walking us to the police station. At that point, in the little Spanish I can speak, start telling them I'm going to have to have my lawyer come down from the states. They for whatever reason, because I can't see that scaring them, decided to scold us, tell us to get out of town, and let us go. We peaced out of there the next morning.

Trainspotter978 karma

What was it like being in a coma? Did it feel like you were asleep? Were you surprised when they told you how long you were comatosed for?

Luke-__-14 karma

Surprisingly, not as mindless as what you might think. I have a lot of memories from that time. Some bad, some amazing. They felt like a really lucid dream if you've ever had that. It felt surreal that I had been asleep for so long and that that part of my life, just, didn't exist. I then spent the next several days delusional, working on coming to the conclusion that my memories during the coma weren't actually real.

Trident1870590056 karma

Before being sentenced..how scared were you? Did you prepare yourself mentally or physically?

Luke-__-5 karma

It was a rough time. I was out on bond for 6 months before accepting a plea and checking in. Those 6 months were spent preparing mostly mentally, which took away my drive to prepare myself physically. I knew from past hardships that I was going to be fine, but yes there was still a lot of stress from the unknown, and everyone telling me horror stories about prison. My advice if you are looking at doing any time is don't be afraid, its portrayed way worse than what it is.

Stalinspetrock6 karma

Based on your experience in jail, and your experience personally as someone who has committed a crime, did the criminals, dealers, etc. that you met seem to be specifically out to cause harm or act in an antisocial way, or were they mostly just trying to earn money that they otherwise had no way of earning?

Luke-__-7 karma

I would say as a whole, the individuals in prison tend to have lower abilities to empathize, but to say that any of them specifically set out to cause harm would be ridiculous. Drug dealing is almost entirely a money related crime. That being said, to also make the claim that they had no other way of earning would take too much of their ability to choose from them. They, and myself, chose to take the easier, quicker route. I could have worked hard, but chose to attempt to sell drugs because it was easier. Basically what I'm saying is that everyone is influenced both by circumstances that are out of their control and by their own personal choices. To say its entirely one way or the other would justify a lot of extremest, untrue, views.

T-diddles5 karma

How was your trial/court experience? Did you take a plea deal or try to fight it?

I'm terrified of court (just nerves) so I'm curious how the criminal court made you feel.

Luke-__-5 karma

I ended up being a law clerk in prison for a bit and so learned the system well enough that it doesn't but me like it did at first, but I did take a plea. There was too much evidence against me. I have seen lawyers take advantage of so many people in the criminal courts because of their desperation and lack of knowledge and so my view of attorneys is very low, but still respect to judicial system as a whole. If I were you, I'd make sure you have a really good feeling about your attorney before making a decision to hire them, if god forbid, you ever needed one. Just like anything, with experience, the fear of courts and the system will go away.

Kcllk15 karma

Are you familiar with the podcast "Ear Hustle"? It is produced by inmates in San Quentin about what life is like on the inside.

If so did you have similar experiences and would comment on its accuracy?

If not check it out. Very compelling. Thanks

Luke-__-2 karma

I haven't unfortunately, but will definitely check it out.

reverendrankin5 karma

How would you rate a coma on a scale of 1-100

Luke-__-6 karma

19.5

123hig5 karma

FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. Do you plan on getting back up on the mule horse?

Luke-__-5 karma

Haha, clever. Only in the the work my ass off sense.

nicasucio4 karma

If you graduated with a petroleum engineering degree, couldn't you have gone for other type of jobs at the time? IT for example?

Had a friend who got a computer engineering degree, but when he was finished he decided he didn't like it, and instead, applied for some financing job and ended up working in that field. His engineering degree helped him, he had told me....

Luke-__-3 karma

Yes I probably could/should have. I love traveling and adventure, and so was feeling a lot of stress over the idea that I was being stagnant, and so decided to take extreme measures. Ended up making it worse, I know.

RalesBlasband4 karma

Did you out and out buy the packages yourself, or were you transporting them for a third party? How much was in each package, what were they made of, and how many did you have?

Luke-__-5 karma

I ended up getting all the cocaine from a guy I didn't know over a period of several days in small amounts to avoid getting robbed for everything I had. I purposely avoided transporting for a 3rd party for this exact reason. Not only would I be no richer, I'd have people more dangerous to pay back. Each package had approximately 6 grams, there were 48 of them, and I used a combination of latex and hot glue.

edgewater153 karma

How were you going to sell it all when you got back to the states?

Luke-__-10 karma

I was going to try and get rid of it in bulk to the universities nearby. Good cocaine is harder to find in the northern states because it gets stepped on so many times coming up and so it sells very fast when it is pure.

Luke-__-2 karma

Yep. I probably would have saved a gram or two for personal use, but I really don't use much and so that would have been plenty.

yik772 karma

so what went wrong with your packages? why hot glue? finger of the latex glove and knot would not be enough? if you would used double condoms, would it not be safer?

Luke-__-12 karma

It had to do with me not swallowing them properly. You are supposed to swallow 7 or 8 every thirty minutes to allow them to work their way into your small intestine to space them out, but because I was late for my flight, I swallowed all 48 thinking the packaging would hold. Because there were so many crammed in, some got stuck, and they didn't withstand the internal body pressure.

adoseth3 karma

Wait, so it hasn't been asked or talked about yet:

Expand on these "fill" packages because I'm not drawing a visual lol. Exactly how tf were you comfortable with a deadly amount of coke; Acids broke the casing in your case? What if your body just digested it all because you didn't make it in time?

How were you supposed to hand it over, binge it out?

Luke-__-2 karma

The packages consisted of latex from the fingers of a glove, covered in a layer of hot glue. The acids didn't break it as I made a 3 times stronger mock muriatic acid mixture to let a couple sit in a few days to make sure. I was late for my flight because of poor planning, and instead of swallowing 7-8 every thirty minutes to allow them to get into your intestines in moderation, I swallowed all 48 at once, causing them to get stuck and my body to bust them from friction and pressure. I, as nasty as it sounds, was going to shit them out. And, I guess either my desperation was high enough to spur me to do it, or my fear response isn't what it should be. Probably a bit of both.

murtadi0073 karma

How much student loans did you rack up and how long were you in prison?

Luke-__-6 karma

130k haha. I was expecting to be able to pay them off quickly with a good degree. And I ended up spending a year and a half total.

VanBanFam3 karma

What did you do for entertainment whilst in prison? And did you ever fear for your own safety while incarcerated?

Luke-__-2 karma

Read. Lots and lots of reading. I also worked out every day. I was never actually fearful but there were definitely times when I was wary. Usually when coming into a new camp/prison because that’s the point where you know the least. For the most part, if you don’t give off the perception of weakness, remain kind, and mind your own business, you will never find trouble.

dudeRedditSucksNow3 karma

In hindsight, do you wish you would have just taken a shitty legal job until you found something that fit your major?

Luke-__-5 karma

It’s easy to have hindsight bias and say yes, only because it failed, but if that one piece of latex held, I’d probably be out traveling around instead of working. So, only because I know the outcome can I say yes I wish I would have

[deleted]3 karma

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Luke-__-5 karma

Thats a simple question with an extremely complex answer. I'll be the first to tell you that because of the sheer number of variables involved in these massive systems, anyone who tells you they have the surefire answer, is deluding themselves. It's on par with asking someone what the problem with the political or economic systems are. That being said, I'll do my best to explain my personal, subjective views on it.

An understanding of psychology and its applications on society and individuals is fundamental in explaining a lot of the current systems flaws, and potential solutions. One of which is the desire for justice. When someone hits you, your initial response is to hit them back to make them atone for what they did. This creates a punishment system that seeks revenge on the criminal and despite there being people who learn from this, end ups instilling resentment and furthering their lack of respect for authority and law. Hence, the recidivism rate. If we are truly going to correct the problem, the system must work to rehabilitate rather than to seek "justice". The change needs to occur within the minds of the individual to where they can understand the flaw in their actions and identify a different path. When you try and force someone to change through punishment, it only creates a stronger resistance. Sure, it feels better to seek revenge and dish them out pain in response to the pain they caused society, but this is clearly not working, and just results in the individual continuing to cause more pain. Fire with fire doesn't work.

We as a society need to get over our fear of drugs, drug use, and drug abusers but this only comes through education. Our prisons are packed with people who have problems and use the drugs as coping mechanisms to escape a reality they don't like. I'm not saying that they lack any degree of responsibility for their drug use, but am saying that locking them up and fining them only exacerbates their dislike of life and creates a stronger pull to escape it via drugs. I'm also not saying that we need to dedicate all our resources to helping them, but we certainly need to stop tearing them down, they are already hurting.

All that being said, I want to continue to place emphasis on the fact that although yes, many of these people are heavily influenced by their nurture, nature, socioeconomic status, and other factors, there is a varying degree of free will that exists in everyone and that to sum these people up to a byproduct of their circumstances alone would be doing them a disservice. You view your own status in life as a result of the good and bad choices you've made, so don't take that from them, even when the result is bad. With that in mind, rehabilitation addresses both their circumstantial and decision making problems.

I think those are two huge pieces that need changed currently, and could go into detail about how the rehabilitation could occur and its impacts not just in a changed criminal class but its fiscal benefits as well but I don't have time for that right now. Hope you find this somewhat beneficial!

SunsetDreams11113 karma

Thanks for doing this. It’s been such a fascinating read. I’ve never used drugs, know nothing smuggling and prison - yet I was drawn to your story in many ways. That tells me you have a book and movie on your hands that will appeal to a mass audience!

Questions:

  1. You’re an attractive man who is intelligent, well-traveled, was in a coma and also spent time in prison. That’s some real life ish. Have your experiences impacted your dating life any? Is it hard to meet women you can connect with on a deeper and more intellectual level?

  2. You said your parents did missions in India (?) I think. Are you a faith-based family? Also, did you have any supernatural things happen to you that you can’t explain? I had a blood cancer and I’ve had some unexplainable occurrences that drew me closer to God. I’m always curious to ask others who’ve also overcome traumatic experiences.

  3. Finally, if a movie was made about your life, who would be perfect to play you?

Luke-__-2 karma

Of course! Glad you enjoyed it.

  1. I think there were some compliments in there and so thank you, thats nice of you to say. I actually had a really hard time finding a girl who fulfilled everything I wanted for the longest time. And oddly enough, while out on bond, thinking now that I really hurt my chances of finding the girl I wanted, ran into the one I'd been looking for all along at a music festival called Bonnaroo. It was extremely difficult to find a girl who I could connect with intellectually, personality-wise, physically, and purpose in life; but, it finally happened. She and I wrote dozens and dozens of letters, when phones were available talked every day, and she came down to visit me in Florida many times. After getting out, we had the intellectual foundation, and the rest has been as good as we hoped.

  2. I was raised Christian and my parents and extended family are still religious, but I am not. I tend to be very methodical, stoic, and evidence driven in my pursuit of truth, and so this lead me away from the stories and into physics, philosophy, and psychology in particular. Also for that reason, I've been able to explain away every supernatural occurrence into a natural one. I think that the more you learn about psychology, the more you realize that our subject minds can not be trusted, and to develop a more objective method of knowing truth is to pull yourself into as clear of a "reality" as is doable for our species at this point in evolution.

  3. Thats a hard question but I think James McAvoy does an amazing job conveying subtle emotion in his work and so think he could do a good job of revealing the unexpressed external emotions that came with the variety of experiences I had. Plus, I just like his films.

Thanks for the questions btw. They were well thought out.

Chtorrr3 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one has asked about?

Luke-__-12 karma

Great/hard question. I guess that its only when you're out of your comfort zone and on the edge that life's truly special qualities begin to reveal themselves. Stay unsatisfied.

sokuk3 karma

That is a intresting story i liked it, Could i ask you how did you entred the life of drug smuggle and what time did you spent in prison ?

Luke-__-6 karma

This was actually my first attempt to smuggle(ridiculous failure I know), and my sentence was for 21 months, of which I served 18.

sokuk1 karma

In curiosity,that soap myth in prison is true or not ?

Luke-__-9 karma

Nope. Most of the myths about prison are either dramatizations by media outlets to make money, over-exaggerations by ex prisoners who want to get respect, or things of the past.

sokuk7 karma

Dude you are handsome you should be the nicest smuggler alive, I think you should focus on Acting or Modeling.

Luke-__-6 karma

Haha. Well thank you for the compliment, but I'm not sure that path would be fulfilling to me.

Mr-Blah2 karma

I don't feel you answered fully this one: why drug trafficking?

I get the usual "fast money, didn't care" argument but what was you train of thought that led you to cocaine smuggling?

Did you consider something else first or went straight to cocaine?

Luke-__-12 karma

That’s a complex question. On a level in which most can understand, I was in debt from college with no good way to pay it back and so felt trapped. One a deeper level that is truer to me, I can’t comprehend a life of mundanity or stagnancy with the fact of our mortality looming over all our heads. The debt was, and is, like a potentiality killer that keeps you living a “normal” life. I know this is probably not a clear enough explanation and I tend not to go into too much detail about it because I feel like its not taken as a valid reason to most, but for the sake of simplicity, I was going to truly “live” or die trying, and nearly almost did.

I chose this option because it was the safest (funny saying that now) option to make a very large sum.

ConsulIncitatus6 karma

You better not have kids then. Nothing will make you live a mundane, stagnent, and "normal" life more than the drive to give your kids a stable home.

Luke-__-8 karma

And this is the exact reason I won’t be having kids.

dyslexic_dinosaur222 karma

You absolute hero. What is your favourite story to tell from prison or what’s the worst thing you experienced or saw in prison? Edit: can I just say how nice and genuine you seen from your answers, you answered every question respectively and broke the stereotype of a drug smuggler. Good on you.

Luke-__-4 karma

Thats extremely kind of you to say, thank you.

I guess I'll start with the worst. I was in a cell in a reception center, where they essentially sort all the inmates who just got convicted before sending them to their "permanent" prisons. I had just got a roommate and after talking a bit, I could tell there was something bugging him. I asked him about it, and he said that I couldn't say anything but that his buddy was going to commit suicide that night in the cell a couple doors down because he had just received 30 years (for killing his dad and shooting his mom but failing to kill her). This of course bugged me a lot and I started questioning him about why he doesn't stop him. The guy says to me, "He is a full grown man and can choose to do what he wants." So, I just sit there trying to figure out what to do. Still to this day I'm not sure what I should have done. Anyways, we get called out to get counted at the end of the night and are all standing by our rooms. His buddy of course doesn't come out and so because my cell was closest to his, the Sargent yells at me to go get him out. Knowing what was happening, I kinda prepared myself walking over there, and there he was, arm sliced wide open, slumped on a blanket, blood everywhere. I told the Sargent and they put us all on lockdown while the suicide unit came in. The guy actually ended up surviving it somehow but I never saw him again.

There are many good stories, but one that always stands out to me has to do with a friend I made while in prison. He was this happy native american guy that taught me how to play spades, gave me books to read, and played handball with me many days. I could tell there was something a little off about his interactions, and recognized he enjoyed giving gifts to people. One day, I started questioning him about why he was in there, and he gave me his case file. He was a serial killer serving a double life sentence. It was so surprising, and yet so interesting to see someone that was so friendly be capable of such things. He said he doesn't actually remember the killing. I obviously didn't treat him any differently as I prefer to look at the person who is there presently rather than at their past, but it was just a very strange look into the eyes and mind of humanities polarized capabilities.

dyslexic_dinosaur224 karma

Both of those stories and so interesting. I’m glad you had good stories from prison as it is stereotypically a terrible place for terrible people.

Luke-__-2 karma

There were many good times despite the bad ones. I guess its trying to see the positive in the midst of negative.

ashlpaca2 karma

I've always been curious because so many people have different stories and obviously the media portrays prison a particular way so, based on your personal experiences, what TV show/movie/podcast etc most accurately portrays life inside prison?

Luke-__-3 karma

To be honest, I haven’t watched or listened to many prison shows or podcasts. What I’ll do is if you give me a couple names of stuff, I’ll watch/listen and report back. Sorry I can’t give you a great answer right off the bat.

A real film wouldn’t make a very good drama but it sure would make a good comedy. There’s so many “wtf did I just hear/see/eat” moments that if you are around someone with a good sense of humor can leave you laughing your ass off.

neeeex2 karma

How come your prison ID says blond, but the photo is black/dark brown? Honestly just curious, read every single question and answer and you have one heck of a story, best of luck :)

Luke-__-5 karma

That’s just an example of how incompetent certain individuals within the department of corrections can be. My original ID and online documentation had my hair being strawberry blond, and weight being 80 pounds.

And thank you.

freezelf22 karma

have you been treated unfairly in prison or get advantage as your race or education background and etc?

Luke-__-2 karma

I have been treated both better and worse because of my race. My education never seemed to influence me negatively, except for people always seeming to think that I had the answer to all their problems haha. Like I said in a previous comment, racism and bias, even though existing and often described on macro levels, really exist on an individual level and so variate immensely.

SeaWhole2 karma

How long was your prison sentence?

Luke-__-3 karma

21 months, of which I served 85% and ended up actually doing a year and a half. I was extremely fortunate to have a combination of no previous record, private attorney, and loads of references from family, friends, and professors.

wenttomall2 karma

How was the treatment inside? Were you ever been approached by anyone and offered protection? Did any gang member tried to recruit you?And how are pedophiles treated?

Luke-__-5 karma

The treatment wasn’t bad unless you resisted. If you minded your own business, the guards would leave you alone. That being said, there were many sadistic guards in the system.

I never had anyone come offer me protection but I had many people ask me if I was gay, as they were looking for sex.

I roomed with the leader of the gangsters disciples on the compound and the leader of the Latin kings on another compound and got along with them just fine. There were some white gangs who approached and asked if I was affiliated but didn’t press it when I told them no. From my experience, the members would mostly seek out the gang, but I’m sure it’s not like that everywhere.

Pedophiles usually lay under the radar as best they can. I worked in the law library and so saw a few cases, and as long as they stayed in their own lane and no one found out they were fine. Even for the guys who were known pedophiles or rapists, they were left alone unless they gave anyone the slightest reason. Basically they just had way shorter strings than the rest of the inmates.

ABathingBoong2 karma

What was your security rating in prison and what level prison did you go too, and where was it? Did you do all your time in GP? Can you give us a run-down on everyday life while locked up? How is finding a job after release?

Luke-__-2 karma

I started at the reception center as a permanent law clerk which was where I did my longest stretch in general population. Then managed to end up at or passing through 8 other prisons ranging community to max all over Florida. I did about half my time in GP and half at a rehabilitation program and work release.

Life being locked up is what you see on tv and documentaries scaled back by 5. All the stuff that is scary about prison definitely exists, but it is vastly exaggerated for respect by ex inmates, money by media sources, and influence for a variety of other people and systems. It’s mainly a lot of boredom, longing, and a time to either build yourself or wither. Once you get your job, time flies because you are doing the same thing over and over. Life for me was wake up, chow, work, chow, work, chow, read, bed. I worked in the law library while in general population.

So far it hasn’t been hard for me to find a job, although it is hard to find an engineering job. That being said, I am partially in agreement that the felony does make it more difficult, but also believe many people use it as an excuse when in reality they are not a good candidate for the job. People like giving second chances, but when if you apply to a job, don’t get it because you don’t actually want it, it’s easier psychologically to blame it on the felony.

oneanddone_bitches2 karma

How did your family feel about all of this?

Luke-__-1 karma

I couldn't have asked for a better family. They were obviously disappointed, but have been extremely supportive of everything thats happened. I received more visits than I probably deserved.

oneanddone_bitches1 karma

That is really cool. What is your stance on Coke now?

Luke-__-2 karma

Same as it was before. Like anything, it can be used for good or bad depending on who is using it and for what reason. I’d advise drug experimentation to those who enjoy their sober reality and warn against use by those who aren’t happy with their current place in life.

McJumbos2 karma

do you keep in touch with anyone you meant in prison?

Luke-__-3 karma

Yeah I do, but not many. I made a lot of acquaintances, and got along with pretty much everyone, but friends in there are different than friends on the outside. Not that there aren't good people in there, just that it was very hard to find people I could bond with intellectually.

McJumbos2 karma

the biggest misconception about prison?

Luke-__-6 karma

There are a lot, but the one that was biggest for me was that you're going to have to join a gang or you'll get exploited. Joining a gang is probably the quickest way to put yourself in harms way.

KeViNxD7191 karma

Did you use your prison wallet?

Luke-__-1 karma

Haha. If I was willing to use that, I probably wouldn’t have ended up in prison in the first place.

thatJAZZkid1 karma

Don’t know if someone asked this, but how much would you have potentially made from selling all of that coke? Hope everything works out for you and you get those student loans paid off soon man!

Luke-__-1 karma

I was estimating close to $50k. And thanks!

KarlJay0011 karma

How did you make contacts down there and now much money did you have to come up with?

What was your sentence and would it have made any difference if you came back to TX, CA, AZ or any other state vs FL?

Couldn't you have got a drone or mailed it back to yourself? Meaning, fly to Panama, drive or fly back to Mexico, drop it into a drone and fly it across the border or drop it in the mail?

I've heard that once convicted of certain things, it's damn hard to get a job and open a business. Will you be able to support yourself after you get out?

Luke-__-1 karma

I made the contact at a music festival I attended while down there and because it was only 7 dollars a gram, it was around $2000 total for the 285 grams. It definitely would have been different depending on a lot of factors, like if the feds decided to pick it up, what county even within the state I got charged in, and even what judge I got. Its hard to make definitive claims or even educated guesses as to what would have been the difference, but I do know from the other cases I saw in Florida, if I'd have landed in Miami rather than Fort Lauderdale, my sentence would have been far less harsh. I could have tried either of those two methods but the purest stuff you'll get will be closest to Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia, and so to get it up to Mexico would mean crossing several foreign borders and risking getting locked up abroad. Shipping to yourself, and flying it across with a drone were both options I looked at, but in all honesty, muling is one of the safest ways, both in physical safety and smuggling security. I just screwed up royally. I actually am out right now, and working. People like to give people second chances, and if you're willing to work your ass off, there is plenty of work no matter who you are. I literally just got done working a 14 hour night shift in the rain on an oil rig. Many of the guys out here have felony's, its just no one wants to do the work because it sucks. That being said, I don't think it will be easy for me to find a company to give me a shot at petroleum engineering, not impossible, but not easy because of this.

KarlJay0012 karma

Glad to hear you recovered well, hate to see people busted for things like that. Even if you made it, you probably wouldn't have harmed anyone.

So what was your sentence and how much time did you actually end up serving?

Luke-__-2 karma

I appreciate that. And about a year and a half after all my gain time for good behavior was applied.

freezelf21 karma

are you regret to doing that? If you have the chance to go back in time, will you still choose to do that?

Luke-__-1 karma

Hindsight is always 20/20 and so by knowing the outcome it’s an easy question to answer. Yes of course I would choose something different, but I guess that’s what I thought the best option was at the time and so if the circumstances were identical but I was back then, I’m sure I would have still made the same choice.

Luke-__-1 karma

Haha. I think I’ll try to do it legally this time, but you never know where life will take you.

_turbs_1 karma

Have there been mental repercussions from overdosing on cocaine? E.g have you noticed you're not as quick as you used to be? Depression? Anxiety?

Luke-__-2 karma

There was for a while when I was out on bond. I had never experience anything like PTSD, but when I would tell my story about the cocaine bursting, for about a month, I would start violently dry heaving again. I also noticed that I wasn't as happy as I used to be, and that drinking would make me sickeningly depressed afterwards, but I am not entirely sure the cause of all of it. Part of me thinks the sheer amount of cocaine, because it works on your dopaminergic (happy chemical) system, caused some of those neural pathways to be damaged, but another part of me thinks that it was due to the fact that I had a long prison sentence looming over my head. Maybe a little of both. The one thing that I know intimately, from times apart of this incident, that always amazes me, is the simultaneous fragility and durability of the human mind. It can break easily, but it has the ability to heal too if you be patient and work at it. As of now, I'm in a great spot mentally, but know this is easily capable of changing.

SaltineCrackah1 karma

Where did you go to college?

Luke-__-1 karma

Maybe I should be more hesitant when stating personal information, but whatever. I went to Marietta College in Ohio. Real small school, but has a great Petroleum Engineering program.

HotelAlpha1781 karma

why not try to shove a few small packages into ur anus instead of swallowing em?

this is a legitimate question btw i’m not kidding

Luke-__-3 karma

To state it like they would in prison. I'm not livin like that. But on a more serious note, I couldn't fit the sheer volume (285 grams), and really didn't want to do that.

HotelAlpha1781 karma

damn 285 grams of cocaine? how much would that have sold for?

Luke-__-3 karma

I hate when people cut product, but my goal in this case was to avoid becoming a long time drug dealer and so wanted to just make my money and get out, so after cutting it, I was hoping to make at least 40k out of it. Prices up north in Ohio are much higher than in the south, and the cocaine was extremely pure as Panama is right next to Columbia.

oleada873 karma

It's ColOmbia

Luke-__-3 karma

Oh yeah, wups.

Spentacular131 karma

How did your mother and father react?

Luke-__-3 karma

They were actually in India at the time and so had to fly home to their idiot sons bedside. I know it was up in the air whether I was going to survive, and so they went through a lot of stress, but they honestly never yelled at me once and have been extremely supportive. That being said, I definitely had many serious talks with them. I love my parents dearly.

kuje1 karma

What college did you go to? Probably too personal but I go to college in Ohio at a school with a lot of cocaine use so just curious if you went here lol

Luke-__-1 karma

You are probably either at Ohio University, or Miami of Ohio, which is where I was going to be dropping most of what I brought back. And I went to Marietta College.

kuje1 karma

Yep. Miami lol. Probably would have made more than. 50k with the amount they spend here. I probably know some of the guys you would have unloaded to.

Luke-__-1 karma

Probably do haha.

MJKatchur1 karma

Just curious, yes or no will suffice, are you from the Marietta area? A lot of my family is form parkersburg

Luke-__-1 karma

Nope. Northern Ohio.

FreshestCereal21 karma

Do you think you’ve experienced any sort of privilege as a white male within the prison system?

Luke-__-3 karma

Yes and no. It all varied on the person. I've had instances where I was treated better and worse because of the color of my skin and seen it happen both ways countless times while incarcerated, both by inmates and guards. I know that my not be the answer you were hoping for, but what I'm saying is that racism and bias, although existing and often categorized as "group traits" exists on an individual level and is more malleable and variable than often portrayed for this reason.

Funky_Nat1 karma

Did the packages (especially the one that broke) give you any health issues as of today?

Luke-__-1 karma

For a while I thought it might have messed with my dopaminergic system as I felt very down for a while afterwards and drinking would make me reclusively depressed. However, today, after spending all the time in prison drug free, working out every day, and just taking better care of myself, I feel like I’m back to my old self. It wouldn’t surprise me if I ended up with some complications down the road because of it though.

yik77-6 karma

what was worse, college with SJWs or prison with gangmembers? Which was the worst moment of your life?

Luke-__-2 karma

Haha. Gangmembers only because you can't just walk away. That being said, they are pretty much like middle-schoolers in full grown mens bodies, and so really aren't hard to get along with if you keep that in mind.

The worst moment of my life was the couple days after waking up from the coma. I was have really bad delusions and paranoia. I didn't sleep because I fervently believed the hospital was all trying to kill me. That was rough.

reverendrankin-22 karma

Hi, I'd like to smuggle a bunch of drugs to the US. What would you do differently to not fuck up so badly? Amateur lol

Luke-__-7 karma

Haha, my advice is, its definitely not worth the risk. I was lucky to survive. But, if you're insistent. Do not skimp on the packaging material.