About the Author

The federal sentencing guidelines took effect in November 1987. I spent the following two years working with inmates at the federal prison in Phoenix, Arizona helping with appeals and post-conviction motions.

The inmates at Phoenix in those years came from all over the country (and all over the world), and I heard hundreds of stories from my clients about how they had been mistreated, tricked, lied to, and just generally screwed by the system as they tried to defend themselves against federal charges under the new guidelines system.

Although I tended to believe their stories, I also found it hard to completely accept many of the tales that I heard, and I always took them with at least a grain of salt. Then I moved to Tucson, where I spent 1990, '91 and '92 working with inmates in that federal prison.

F.C.I. Tucson is unusual in the federal system in that it was originally built as an M.C.C., essentially a local jail to house pre-trial prisoners, then was changed over to an F.C.I. for sentenced inmates before it even opened its doors. As a result, it continued in both roles: a mix of sentenced prisoners serving their sentences there and pre-trial prisoners held in the Yucca Unit while they fought their cases.

As I had in Phoenix, I began to help sentenced inmates with their appeals and writs, but very quickly the pre-trial inmates began coming to me for help. As word got around, hundreds of them sought me out for advice.

During the 2-1/2 years I worked in the law library at F.C.I. Tucson, I assisted over 500 pre-trial inmates who were fighting their cases. It was during this period that I began to experience, first-hand, many of the tricks and deceits that I had been hearing about in Phoenix.

Prison inmates who read Busted by the Feds invariably tell me, "That's exactly what happened to me!" By now I have personally experienced everything that I describe in this book many times over, albeit vicariously.

From 1987 through 2011, I worked with pre-trial inmates fighting their cases in Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, and Colorado, in addition to more than two thousand sentenced inmates from all over the country, and everything that I describe in this book has occurred time after time after time in every federal district in the nation.

Larry Fassler,
Tucson, Arizona 2017

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