tv Lockup Tampa MSNBC May 4, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
some way, you know? > due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. a notorious drug dealer leaves his family behind. >> why did you get guilty dreams on your eyelids? >> just because of my past. a lot of things had i felt guilty for. i didn't want my daughters to be without me. i didn't want my family to be involved in none of this.
>> i have a love affair with opiates that i cannot shake. >> heroin addiction breaks up a young couple's home and lands them both in jail. >> but still, i love it. i guess that's the addiction. that's why they call it a disease i guess. >> now they face another consequence. a potentially fatal one. >> i wake up at night gasping for breath thinking about it. >> and in a jail where drugs have led to the arrest of many of the inmates, officials add a new member to their corrections staff. located in the heart of tampa, florida, is its historic cigar manufacturing center, ybor city. but for too many in tampa, guilty pleasures go far beyond hand rolled cigars. as in other big cities, drug abuse has taken its toll here. it leads addicts to commit far more serious crimes. often resulting in extended stays at tampa's hillsborough county jail. >> one behind the other.
single file line. hug the wall. >> colonel jim previtera is in charge of all operations and the nearly 3,000 inmates housed in the county's two jail facilities. >> i feel pretty safe in telling you if you went into any given pod here and you got every inmate to honestly answer the question of how substance abuse impacted their incarceration, i think that you'd find the number is staggering. probably close to seven out of ten inmates would tell you that either alcohol, prescription drugs or other controlled substances, they used them on a regular basis or is a direct contributor to their current situation. >> the cycle of committing crime to buy drugs has caught up with chad white. he's been a heroin addict for 17 years and has spent the last two months here. like most other jail inmates, white has not been convicted of a crime but is in custody awaiting resolution of his case.
he's pled not guilty to charges of burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property. >> that's katie, my wife, and me getting married on the beach. we put together this whole thing ourselves. i mean, it was so cool. i baked my own cake and did everything myself, really. it turned out extremely good. very, very, very pretty. that was one of the happiest days of my life. i'm looking at that photo surrounded by this. it hits home. you know, i feel like i let her down, you know? >> white's wife, 21-year-old katie ellis is in another wing of the jail. regulations prohibit them from seeing each other ♪ i'm free, believe me ♪ . >> katie, who shares a heroin addiction with chad, is charged with burglary and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. she has not yet entered a plea. ♪ you smoked away your fears >> like chad's, katie's incarceration is largely due to
a drug addiction. ♪ i'll be happy when i found my savior tonight ♪ the messages in that song is when i smoke pot, i'm free. i'm escaping. that's what it's about. >> katie and chad met shortly before katie's 18th birthday and say they first boned not over drugs, but over music. >> he always brought his guitar over and he would play the chords to "breakfast at tiffany's" and we'd make up our own lyrics. we'd have full-on conversations about how we felt about each other and lyrics that we would just freestyle. it was cool >> at first i kind of blew her off. i was like, no, she's too young for me, she's too young for me. by the time she was almost 19, i said, you know what, this is going to be my girl, you know. so we moved in together. >> but their drug addictions often made life difficult. >> you're always on the verge of eviction, always late on bills. we've been living on the
streets. multiple times in jail because of drug addiction. >> i have a love affair with open thias that i cannot shake. i can't lose her the way i look at it, you know? >> and for chad opiates have proven to be a powerful mistress. >> if i was on a cliff and i had my daughter and my wife in my hand and i'm trying to pull them up and there's a bag of heroin and that bag of heroin is going to fall off the cliff and something's telling me, you'll never be able to use that ever again, i'm going to let them go and grab that heroin because that's what it did to me. it took my soul. >> katie and chad both started using drugs at age 13. when she was 20, chad showed katie how to shoot heroin. >> it was the best high that he ever felt in my life. >> did you ask him to shoot you up? >> well, i didn't really have to. i mean, i was going to do so. i wasn't not going to shoot up. >> the way i looked at it was
she's going to do it anyway and i need to show her how to do this right and how not to reuse needles, share needles. i kind of wanted her to learn the way of the standards because she was already going down the wrong road, the way i justified it in my head anyway. i regret not leading by example. if i would have stayed clean, she would have followed me. i know she would have. >> my dad was like, she was all right and then she met chad. you know? they think we're bad influences on each other which is probably true. >> now, the couple must face a new set of consequences. chad recently got sobering news during a visit to the jail's infirmary. >> i found out i have hepatitis "b" and "c." i have been proud saying i can beat death, an i can beat this, i can beat that. it kind of beat me saying that it will kill you very, very soon, now sooner if you don't
stop. i've worked in hospitals before and i've seen people die of hepatitis. i've seen guys with their testicles swell up like basketballs and their body swells up, they turn stark yellow and are in horrible, horrible pain, and then they die. i wake up at night gapping for breath thinking about it. i can't be that guy. either somebody used my needle without me knowing or my wife used somebody else's needle without me knowing. i used needles 17 years now and i've been tested every year. i beat it. i never contracted hiv. i never contracted hepatitis. >> considering that you share needles with katie, what are the chances that she has has hepatitis c? >> 99.99999%. coming up -- >> in pittsburgh it was really hard to get needles. >> katie ellis makes a revelation about her drug use. >> yeah, pretty gross. but first, a former drug dealer takes a hard fall. >> it took him, like, nine hits
the hillsborough county jail in tampa, florida, is preparing for a new team member. she's due to arrive from pennsylvania in a week. >> it's a monster jail complex. she'll be busy. this is a picture of elmo. elmo is the name the breeder gave her. i guess we could change her name, and that's something we'll discuss. i guess it really should be elma since it is, in fact, a female shepherd. the nose looks like it has potential. >> elmo will be the jail's first drug detection dog. >> it's important that we keep drugs out of here because sometimes this is the i don't know chance for someone to sober
up, number one, but also, it creates the same drug culture that capitals neighborhoods across this country in the institution, itself. we start to see violence, you start to see exploitation of other inmates and essentially it creates a black market for many things. >> i'm going to leave the picture here. i may end up giving it to the handler as a gift. >> colonel previtera and his staff have yet to decide who the handler will be. >> the tough part about this, there's only one position. it's first time we've ever done this where we're actually going to have a dog assigned 24/7. you're going to be putting your career into this dog for the next seven or eight years. >> 14 deputies assigned to the jail have applied to be elmo's handler. after a series of in-depth interviews, 11 of them have moved on to the physical fitness portion of the selective -- selection process.
>> we're going to do the mile and a half. once you're done, come over, do push-ups, we'll do sit-ups and then we'll turn you over to the canine handlers. good luck. >> we're looking for the total package. all the deputies out here are outstanding deputies. >> 12:21, 12:21, remember your time. >> just the fact that they're out here shows their level of commitment. >> ready, begin. >> that's what we appreciate is they're willing to come out here and essentially sacrifice the next seven, eight years of their career. they won't be able to get promoted. they won't be able to be reassigned any other specialty unit. they'll be working with this dog extensively for that time period. >> you've got to have ten more in you. come on, come on. >> it's a really hard decision. somebody here is going to be excited when it's over. for the others there's going to be a certain level of dejection
because of the fact they want this badly. >> keep going. don't stop. once you stop, you're done. five more. come on, come on, come on. >> the next phase of the competition is the most anticipated. sergeant gary herman is a canine handler for the hillsborough county sheriff's office. he's here to give the deputies an opportunity to interact with his patrol dog, stitch, and to experience the strength of his jaws. just as a fleeing suspect would. >> that's what job is about, it's about doing different things, exciting things. i like to feel the adrenaline. it's great. >> you know you have a protecting suit on, still, it gets through the suit. it gets your skin. it's like little pinches and it hurts. there's my battle scars. >> i'm feeling a little bit of anxiety, a little nervous. but basically want to get it over with and have it done. attaboy.
good boy. >> i hope that for all you guys that this has been a good experience. the tough part about it is i can only pick one of you. it ain't going to be easy. i can tell you that. honestly, all of you guys have shown the qualities we're looking for. thanks a lot, guys. i appreciate it. you know, you can limp around and say you got attacked by a dog and try to milk that for all you can today, all right? >> drugs have played a role in the arrest of many of the inmates detained at the hillsborough county jail. the majority of them are on the demand side of tampa's drug problem. but michael garcia has been on the supply side. he was once a leader of one of florida's most notorious gangs. >> how high up in the chain were you? >> pretty high. >> you were the number one -- >> yeah, i was the president, let's put it like that. i was the president for the whole state of florida.
>> garcia is at hillsborough county appealing a 17 1/2 year prison sentence for trafficking cocaine, selling ecstasy and possession of a firearm. he's been in custody for the last three years. >> why did you get guilty dreams on your eyelids? >> just because of my past. a lot of things i have felt guilty for. i didn't want my family to be involved in none of this. i didn't want the pain to come in. i didn't want my daughters to be without me. when you're in the criminal life, you don't think about getting caught. >> but garcia was caught after making several drug deals with a police informant. he was arrested at home and his family witnessed the magnitude of his reputation. >> it took them, like, nine hits with the ram to knock my door down. but by that time, i was already putting my underwear on and i was trying to get out the window. when i stepped out of the
window, they threw a flash grenade. it blew up, and i flew off the wall, took the hair off my arm and knocked me unconscious. i remember coming up, couldn't hear nothing or see nothing. my kids are crying because we have 80 agents in my house. my dogs were going crazy, my two pit bulls. it was just total chaos. >> garcia says his life used to be influenced by the devil, but on the day of his arrest, he heard a different voice. >> almighty father in the name of jesus christ. i started praying, god, help me, god, help me. he spoke to me right there and said, look, if you serve me the way you were serving this clown, i can make things so much better for you. >> garcia says now his focus is only on his family. though separated from his current wife, he has eight daughters from four different women. the daughters range from age 3 to 20. >> i just love them and i never mean it to turn out this way.
never. i never meant to abandon them, never meant to leave them alone. but those little consequences we have to go through, you know, for the things we do. >> when it comes to consequences, however, drug dealers and their children are not alone. katie ellis has been thinking about the consequences of her actions. >> being in jail definitely puts it all in perspective how off track i've gotten. i mean, i used to have, like, major dreams. i never thought i'd shoot up, but i got my track marks. it's just, wow, what am i doing? but still, i love it. i guess that's the addiction. i guess that's why they call it a disease i guess. >> katie has no idea she may be suffering from another disease as well. her husband, chad white, who's also serving time at the jail was recently diagnosed with hepatitis but hasn't told her yet. he's hopeful he'll be released
within a few days and plans to visit her. >> i want to tell her face to face that i came up positive for hepatitis "b" and "c" and she needs to go to the clinic in jail. >> because they shot heroin together, there's a good chance katie could have hepatitis as well. in fact, she could have given the disease to chad. >> when you were using, did you ever share needles? >> with my husband, yes. i've slipped up a couple other times. in pittsburgh, it was really hard to get needs. so i remember there was one needle between four of us. yeah. pretty gross. luckily i don't have anything. i got tested here in jail. i was pretty worried. wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy.
probation but couldn't find his i.d. when his personal property was returned to him upon his release. since the jail requires visitors to show one, he was unable to visit katie. >> broke my heart and it did make me down in the dumps. because i don't want her heart to be broken, as well. i don't want her to think i'm putting her off for any reason. as soon as i get an identification card i'll be in those doors. >> until then, chad is working on rebuilding his life and staying off drugs. >> i've been pressured to use again several times out here. literally that was the first time in my life i think i ever said no six times repeatedly. that's the farthest thing from my mind is dope. >> chad is now living at the salvation army in downtown tampa, and says he's looking for work. >> part of my motivation and my strength is my wife that's
locked up doing time for something that i probably influenced her under it. and i regret every single minute of that and either i can sit and wallow in it and go back to it because that's all wallowing in your own decaying [ bleep ] does to you, it makes you go back to using drugs when you're a heroin addict or say, okay, i'm going to make sure this is better, make sure this doesn't happen again, and if it doesn't happen again i have nowhere else to go but up. coming up -- >> let the judge show mercy on you brothers. >> a former drug dealer finds god. >> let the witnesses be blinded, father, by your word. while the mother of a drug user is haunted with pain. >> we've been to counselors. we've been to mediation. we've been to drug rehabs and just nothing ever worked.
one final discussion. >> this thing has gorkt. this program has got work. i wanted to make sure we had the right person. it's clear to all of us that you have what it takes to do this job and to make it work and to be successful. i got no doubt at all, but at the same time, the other thing that is glaringly apparent to all of us, not only the fact that you can do this job and do it well, but we all agree you should be a supervisor. that's all your supervisors saying, do you want to tie him to the south end of a dog for the next seven or eight years when in the next seven or eight years, when he could be a
lieutenant? the thing is, if i tie you for that dog, one thing is for certain, for probably at least five years you're tied to the dog. >> yes, sir. that's something i've debated for quite awhile. there's satisfaction in moving up through the ranks and a different type of satisfaction when you're doing something you enjoy and you're going to get more out of it. for some reason this is something that -- >> well, it's a first. you're, you know, you are breaking ground. not just for detention but for the sheriff's office. your family's good with it, your wife's good with it? >> she may be more excited than me about it. to be honest. >> you can bring her that home. that's a gift. congratulations, you earned it. congratulations, man. >> hey, babe, i was calling to tell you that we got the position and we got a new puppy coming home. >> yea. >> her name is elmo. we're going to the airport to pick up the dog monday night.
>> i love you. >> love you, too. thank you. bye-bye. you could hear my daughter in the background, asking when it's coming home. she's ecstatic. can't wait to have a puppy. can't wait to see him. very excited. >> elmo's job will be to detect drugs in the jail. but colonel previtera also hopes she'll be a deterrent to those thinking of smuggling drugs into the facility. drugs are also at the heart of michael garcia's troubles, including his most recent conviction. he was a drug dealer who was ruining lives on the outside, but he says on the inside he attempts to heal them. >> in the name of jesus, father. that is ailing, let him be healed, father. touch his life, touch his mind, touch his heart, touch his soul, father. touch him from the top of his hair to the sole of his feet right now in the name of jesus. >> he's very religious now. he does lot oz of prayer groups. he talks to lots of inmates.
he goes to bible study every night from what i've seen. >> let the judge show mercy on the brothers. let the prosecutors show mercy, father. let the witnesses be blinded, father, by your word. >> everybody come here, comes here, finds god and leaves this building and then comes right back. they use it as a comfort so that they can deal with being in here. it's a means of hope that they can get released. >> amen. >> amen. >> god bless you. god bless you. the people that i did wrong, the faeps that i sold -- i didn't sell drugs to family likes that, you know. but regardless of the situation, there was an impact because somebody's father was buying or somebody's mother was buying it or somebody's daughter or somebody's granddaughter. you feel me? there's a responsibility there. but you got remember, too, that when you get saved, all your past is forgotten. it's thrown into the sea of forgetfulness to never be
brought back again, in god's eyes. >> for families, dealing with a drug addicted member, forgetting is often difficult. >> we've been to counselors, we've been to mediation, we've been to hospitals, we've been to all kinds of drug rehabs and this and that. just nothing ever worked. >> katie ellis' mother, janice, has come to visit her for the first time since katie's arrest for burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia. >> i still have mixed emotions, but i'm happy for her that she's in a clean environment, clean being off drugs. and hope she can make some positive turn in her life from here. >> janice lives in maine for most of the year and has been communicating with katie through letters. >> i reread them and reread them. i read them all the time. i take them with me when i travel and i just thought i'd read them before i went in today. "i never quite grasped the meaning of being grateful until
i met chad. i know on the outside our relationship doesn't look so great, but i've learned so much about myself and now i can say that i like myself. before i struggled with not feeling like i was good enough, strong enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, anything enough. i now know that i'm enough. still have some more soul searching to do. i will grow and prosper before i die. i may be a rebel child, but who said i couldn't be a kick ass one?" so how you doing without the drugs? >> good. i feel good. i don't think about it. too much. i mean, my friends and i talk about it all the time. >> do they let you smoke cigarettes in jail? >> no. >> no? >> no. i quit smoking, mom. being off the drugs, i do feel physically better. i haven't woken up with natural energy in a long time. >> so you're really off everything? >> yeah. >> so what do you do to get quote/unquote high in jail? >> sugar. >> sugar. >> yeah, i've gained ten pounds
so far. carrie keeps feeding me moon pies. she told me the other day, she's like, yeah, i'm not going to be the fat friend. >> so you're addicted to moon pies? no caffeine, no coffee. wow. >> yeah. >> jail has given katie the opportunity to detox. and she will soon join an inhouse drug treatment program. >> i really hope that helps you a lot. sounds like you think you don't really need it much or -- >> i'm sure -- i mean, yes, i have a drug problem. you know, i know that. i don't know -- i mean, i just -- i don't know how my life's going to go. >> it's an opportunity for you and i hope you will really try at it. it's kind of like going to school and you don't like school. i know. >> after 40 minutes, the video monitor turns off. so katie and her mother must say their good-byes. >> so do you want to come back? should i put dad down? >> put dad down every time you put me down. and i'll keep trying.
it's hard for him. he gets really emotional. >> i know. >> he loves you. he just can't -- just can't come. let's try again for next monday at 1:00? >> okay. i can do that. well, thanks for coming. >> i love you. >> i love you, too. >> i'll see you again. bye, sweetie. >> bye. >> hang in there. >> i wish i could be like, yeah, mom, i'll totally go to this rehab and i'll totally do it and i'll get out and i'll be clean and sober forever. but i just -- i can't say that. coming up, the jail deputizes its newest team member. >> this is a great dog, very loving. she took to me right away. free. good. and a sobering visit for katie ellis. >> listen, if you feel sick at all, go get tested. the hillsborough county jail's newest team member has finally arrived and she has a new name. >> we changes the name from elmo. her name is now bensha which is the name on her genealogy that came from amsterdam.
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back up. are you scared about the hepatitis? i mean -- >> i don't know. i don't know enough about it to be scared. i know jesse had it. that's all i know. >> you know why jesse had a big gut, you know? that was fat. that was his body swollen up because he drank. >> yeah. i know that. >> that's what happens. like, it's a horrible death. you know what i mean, another reason for us to be clean, you know, or you know what i mean, just try to live healthier. >> chad says he hasn't used drugs since his release two weeks ago and that he's made some strides in rebuilding his life. >> oh, my god, i got a job today. >> yay! where? >> denny's. i'm working overnights.
right next to venus. >> that's [ bleep ]. >> the plan is on. it's going great. it's been two weeks i've been out. i need skid resistant shoes, black pants, a black belt because i couldn't find my black belt. i need a black long sleeve shirt to cover my tattoo all like by friday. i haven't stolen anything since i've been out -- i'm not, like, you know me, i can get whatever i want, but i'm not doing it like that. i'm just, no. >> you'll figure it out. >> the only thing i wouldn't give up to see you, katie, is a job. you know what i mean? >> you already got one of those. >> i did. i'm so happy. i'm probably going to get two. i might as well. idle hands. you know what i mean? >> now that he has a job, chad hopes to find a place to live so katie has a home when she's released. >> the one thing that helps me is that every day i accomplish something to make your life better, not mine. i'm like completely.
>> i know. i tell people all the time, everything he does, he's doing it for me. >> listen. i have a minute and 30 seconds left. i love you, i love you more than life itself. you know i'm out here for you. this is just a learning experience. everything happens for a reason. you know that, honey. i just can't wait to just hold you again. i can't stand not being able to touch you and squeeze you and smell you. i love you, baby. >> love you, too. bye. i'm so happy. yay. i miss him so much. it's good to see him on screen. hear his voice. i love it. >> 40 minutes seems like a minute and 30 seconds. then afterwards, as soon as that monitor goes black, it's like complete despair, you know? your heart sinks down and you're like, oh, man. that's the only thing i have for hope to know she's going to get out clean and i'm going to have a nice, clean home without dope dealers and without scum and with a nice job that can support both of us.
and start over again. due to mature subject marte, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> turn around, man. face the wall. >> would i kill someone? if i had to. >> you got seven layers of skin you got to go through before you get to the bone. >> there's nothing that goes on that at least one gang member is not involved with. nothing. >> the outside world probably don't want to know what goes on due to mature subject marte, viewer discretion is advised. there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> turn around, man. face the wall. >> would i kill someone? if i had to. >> you got seven layers of skin you got to go through before you get to the bone. >> there's nothing that goes on that at least one gang member is not involved with. nothing. >> the outside world probably
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