Weldon Angelos can tell you how dangerous mandatory minimums can be, because he was sentenced to 55 years and has been in jail since his sentencing in November 2004. The Judge on the case could also tell you how dangerous they are because when he sentenced Angelos he stated “If he was a child rapist, he would have gotten 11 years in prison. And now I’m supposed to give him a 55-year sentence? I mean, that’s just not right…,” (ABC News).

Angelos was caught selling marijuana to an informant on three separate occasions, for a total value of around $1,000.00. Id. The informant claimed that there was a gun present during these transactions. Id. Under 18 U.S. Code § 924(c), the mandatory minimums for trafficking with a firearm are 5 years on the first offense and 25 years on each subsequent offense. Thus, Angelos’ three marijuana sells stacked for a total of 55 years because he received 5 years for the first sale and 25 years for each subsequent sale. It is also important to keep in mind that Angelos had no prior record. (ABC News).

The good news is that Angelos was released in 2016. Id. Although the records are sealed, Angelos’ attorney states that the release was initiated by the prosecutor who originally charged Angelos. Id. Do you think 55 years in jail was too much time, for three sales of marijuana by a first-time offender?