A Texas grandmother who was serving a life sentence for dealing hard drugs until former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence has once again found herself on the wrong side of the law â€“ and will head right back to prison.
49-year-old Carol Denise Richardson was arrested in Pasadena for stealing $60 worth of laundry detergent, but quickly determined that she had also violated enough conditions of her lucky release to wind up behind bars.
â€śThis defendant was literally given a second chance to become a productive member of society and has wasted it,â€ť said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Imperato in a press release. â€śShe has clearly shown a willful disregard for the law and must face the consequences for her crimes and actions.â€ť
Back in 2006, Richardson was convicted by a federal jury on charges of possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, as well as two counts of possession with intent to distribute the drug. Despite her long rap sheet and her life sentence, Obama decided to order her release from prison in 2016, just ten years into the sentence.
She became one of 568 inmates granted clemency by the former president who were serving life sentences for non-violent drug offenses as a way to push back against strict sentencing laws. Richardson, however, did not appear to realize how fortunate she was.
According to Imperatoâ€™s testimony before U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, who originally sentenced her to life in prison, Richardson violated five separate terms of her release: she did not report that she had been arrested; she changed her address; and she did not tell authorities that she had been fired from a job for pulling a no-show.
Richardson will now serve a 14-month sentence behind bars, followed by five years of supervised release. Her attorney, Mark Anthony Diaz, blamed Richardsonâ€™s relapse on her loss of contact with the strong family support system that allegedly helped her stay clean during her first few months out of prison.