Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Dave Casey
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000103B
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:06 may be too candid for younger children.
00:14 Welcome back.
00:15 You know, one of my favorite texts in the Bible
00:18 and I have tons of them
00:19 but one of them is Paul was talking to a group
00:22 and he is like, "You know, nobody, nobody that sins
00:26 or sleeps around or lies
00:28 or alcoholic or druggies
00:30 or somebody that's beaten up their spouse,
00:33 nobody like that is ever gonna see heaven.
00:36 And all of you were like that at one time."
00:39 And I read that and I like,
00:40 "shut up. No way."
00:42 He is saying, you know, he's talking to this group
00:44 that has gone into recovery at some level.
00:47 God has called them.
00:49 They're sitting in a building.
00:50 He's talking about everybody that they're kind of judging
00:53 and he then turns it all the way around
00:55 and says all of you were like that at one point.
00:57 You came from that place.
00:59 And so I want to introduce you to my next guest
01:02 who definitely came from that place, Casey? Yes.
01:05 You know, so your name is David Casey but you go by Casey?
01:08 Yeah, I go by Casey.
01:10 That's what most people call me. Yeah.
01:12 And you look like you just never done a thing.
01:16 I haven't been caught for everything I've done
01:19 but I've done a lot of stuff, so...
01:21 So we're gonna start--
01:22 I'm gonna ask you a little bit, like,
01:24 when I was talking about on the teaching segment
01:27 about doing a lifestyle change and having to learn everything.
01:32 A little while into this interview,
01:34 I'm gonna ask you what you think about that.
01:36 But first tell us where did you come from
01:38 and kind of what did you get into?
01:41 I grew up in a home in a family of,
01:46 I had seven brothers and sisters.
01:49 And when I grew up, we--I'm not gonna say,
01:54 you know, like I termed it before,
01:58 dysfunctional family, it was just the way it was.
02:03 So when you say that 'cause a lot of guys are like that,
02:05 they're saying, you know, it was not bad, it was...
02:07 And then they'll talk about their mom or dad drinking
02:09 or some abuse in the family, all that kind of stuff.
02:12 When you say it was just the way it was,
02:15 was there any alcohol, was there any--
02:17 No, there wasn't alcohol but my father was blind, disabled
02:21 and my mother, you know, dealing with eight kids with,
02:27 you know, no income.
02:29 So some of my earliest childhood memories was
02:34 she taught us how to steal.
02:36 Taught us, you know, get things for--
02:38 Just for you guys to survive? Yeah.
02:41 If we went into a supermarket,
02:42 we went in and ate while we were there.
02:45 Or shoes or something that maybe be.
02:48 I know her intent wasn't to have me
02:52 grow up to be the person I was
02:54 but it was at the time, you know,
02:57 you want something, you want this,
02:59 she, you know, taught us to steal it. You go get it.
03:02 And that set the stage
03:04 'cause at some of my earliest childhood memories was,
03:07 you know, to do that. It wasn't--
03:09 I wasn't ever in the mind frame
03:13 of taking somebody else's property,
03:16 it was don't get caught.
03:18 That was what we were taught.
03:19 And even, you know, to me
03:21 I think in some of those homes
03:22 were truly dysfunctional like that,
03:24 it's you really, that'd say, "Good job.
03:27 I can't believe you got those.
03:28 I can't believe you got away with that."
03:30 You know, so your, your positive stuff
03:33 comes from this twisted. Yeah.
03:36 We did that with each other, my brothers and sisters
03:39 and I, you know, "Look what I got."
03:41 You know, my dad used to say, I found more stuff.
03:44 He'd say, "I don't know how you keep finding all that stuff.
03:46 You know, you find more stuff
03:47 than anybody ever met, you know."
03:49 I found some new shoes.
03:51 Right, I found it but I was actually stealing it.
03:54 That just led me in that direction of life
03:58 where I had no boundaries
04:03 in the sense of what I shouldn't do.
04:07 You know, sure my father told us not to do those things
04:09 but I had no boundaries.
04:11 My mindset was just don't get caught,
04:14 do whatever you want. Right.
04:15 And where were you in-- and were you youngest, oldest?
04:18 In the middle. Okay.
04:20 Middle. Okay.
04:21 And so your whole life is kind of a little bit--
04:24 well, definitely out of the norm-- Yeah.
04:27 You were loved, you knew that?
04:29 To the best of my mother's ability,
04:32 yes, I do not believe
04:34 she intended to hurt us in anyway.
04:38 It was just not having the ability to,
04:42 you know, know how to actually raise a child.
04:45 You know, all she could do was what she could do.
04:47 She was young.
04:48 She passed away when she was 37.
04:51 So she was young when she had,
04:52 you know, all of us kids.
04:54 Right. So...
04:55 Well, at what age did she have the first child?
04:58 I don't know what her age was when she had the first child.
05:01 Definitely in her teens. But she was 37.
05:02 Right, she was young when she passed away.
05:05 Well, and what she died from?
05:07 She had a medical condition,
05:09 blood clot moving to her lungs or something. I am sorry.
05:14 So you know what's interesting to me, Casey,
05:16 is that, that even the fact of, you know, when you sit down
05:19 and you start out with this, kind of I had an,
05:21 you know, I don't know if I would call it dysfunction,
05:23 but you've dealt with a lot,
05:25 even the loss of your mom early on
05:27 and your dad's disability had to play a role in your family?
05:33 It did, but, you know,
05:35 when you're dealing with these things,
05:36 you're not thinking like, you know, what was me?
05:39 Yeah, it's just the way it was.
05:41 I wasn't thinking that in my mind
05:42 but I think it does play out in my behavior
05:46 'cause I know after my mother passed away,
05:48 I become like very angry young guy with just,
05:53 you know, how can this happen?
05:54 And then deciding to take care of yourself.
05:58 Right and it was just as I matured,
06:03 you know, not matured mentally but as I got older,
06:06 the next step was drugs and stuff and I started,
06:10 you know, there was no limits to that.
06:13 There was no-- I had no reasoning
06:15 of what not to do
06:16 or don't try this. If it was there, you did it?
06:18 I did it. Yeah.
06:20 It didn't matter to me. Yeah.
06:21 And that's for a lot of people they don't understand is that
06:23 I will, I will literally take whatever is on the table
06:27 and probably more than anybody else in the room. Yeah.
06:30 'Cause you're, you know, you're just kind of crazy in that way.
06:34 But your anger drove you?
06:36 The anger drove me and I didn't realize it.
06:41 You know, you don't know these things.
06:43 I wasn't able to diagnose myself at that time
06:47 but looking back now, I was very angry
06:52 because I had no regard for anybody.
06:54 I had no respect for anybody
06:57 and whatever I wanted to do, I did.
06:59 And I didn't care.
07:01 I didn't even care about the consequences
07:03 that it would result with me going to prison
07:06 or jail or the police or--
07:09 And all of that happened in your life? If you're--
07:10 it all happened repeatedly.
07:12 If I was robbing a store, which I've done a lot,
07:18 and if I had a gun, I wasn't worried
07:21 that the owner of the store might shoot me,
07:24 I got this, I'm in control of this situation. Right.
07:27 So I was--you know, it does happen to people.
07:30 I mean, I've seen it happen to friends
07:32 but fortunately it didn't happen to me,
07:35 but I never had fear--
07:36 If anybody that's gonna be shot,
07:38 it was gonna be the owner of the store. Right.
07:39 I'm the one-- I'm in control of this.
07:41 I'm doing this.
07:42 If there's gonna be fear invoked here,
07:44 I'm invoking it on you.
07:46 Right. So...
07:48 And to me what-- can you talk a little bit
07:51 about the seduction of that power,
07:55 I mean, you know that I'm the guy?
07:57 It was, it was, it was, it did,
08:01 like, buzz you up
08:02 and later on in my life I would think
08:06 because before I would walk in a building
08:08 or walk in to do something like that,
08:11 I would be able to be outside with another person
08:14 or whatever joking, laughing,
08:16 and say, "All right, let's go." Yeah, it's time to do this--
08:18 And pull the mask down and go in with an aggression that people,
08:24 I didn't need somebody to push my button
08:28 or trigger this aggression,
08:30 it was like a transformation where in your mind
08:34 you're just, you know, I would just be extremely violent.
08:37 All right. So...
08:40 And let me just say something
08:42 and I know this is that some people say that's an act.
08:46 It's not an act, you've become that guy.
08:48 And everything-- if you say no to me,
08:51 I could shoot you in the face and I would walk away
08:54 and feel okay about that.
08:55 No, it wasn't an act, it was real.
08:57 I would turn it on. Right.
08:59 And this is where later-- years later in my life,
09:02 I tried to deal with this like, "How was I able to do this?"
09:06 It wasn't acting because if I would've been acting,
09:10 there would be a element of me being in fear. Right.
09:14 I was in complete control
09:16 and knew what I was prepared to do
09:19 to complete whatever I was doing.
09:22 And to deal with whatever happened
09:24 in that circle? Whatever.
09:25 So, so, you went from stealing in stores to armed robberies...
09:31 At 15 years old,
09:34 I started doing what they call today carjacking.
09:39 We were doing that, you know, in the '70s.
09:43 I lived in Detroit at that time and we would hitchhike,
09:46 people would pick you up.
09:48 You know, we would take their car and rob them.
09:51 Then I did start doing armed robberies.
09:54 And at 17 years old,
09:57 I was arrested for an armed robbery
09:59 and wound up going to state prison in Michigan
10:02 for 5 to 15 years at 17 years old.
10:05 Right, did you--
10:06 how much time did you actually do?
10:08 I did 5 1/2 on it
10:10 because I was cooperating with the prison.
10:14 So let me just say 'cause, you know, when you look at,
10:18 you know, and I don't care who it is
10:20 when I deal with somebody in recovery,
10:22 when you look at a 17 year old underneath all that anger
10:26 and all that craziness as a 17 year old
10:28 and now you're in prison,
10:29 so what did that look like for you
10:30 and did you have to turn it on and leave it on for 5 years?
10:34 Just one thing I'd like to say
10:36 you were talking about making a bed.
10:38 I was at a prison in Michigan
10:40 and they were telling me to make my bed.
10:43 And I said, "I'm not making my bed.
10:46 I'm doing 5 to 15 years," You make my bed.
10:48 Yeah, "I'm not making it."
10:50 Yes, we're giving you a direct order, "Make your bed."
10:53 I said, "Are you crazy?
10:56 I'm in your jail and I'm not making my bed."
10:59 So they'd come and took me to the hole,
11:02 put me in the hole and I laid in there for about--
11:04 So what's a hole for people that don't know?
11:06 Segregating housing unit where you just put in a cell
11:09 and you just stay in that cell,
11:10 that's it. No stimulation.
11:11 They just slide your meals in under the door
11:14 or through a slide in the door. Yeah.
11:16 So they put me in the hole and I'm lying in there,
11:18 you know, thinking, "Yeah, I'm sure I'm not making my bed."
11:21 About 12 days later I was, like
11:23 "Okay, okay, I'm making." Where is that bed?
11:24 "I'll make it.
11:26 I'll make the bed. I'll make it."
11:27 And so now, you know, I'm telling you
11:29 go home and make your bed?
11:30 I'll make every bed in the unit. Yeah.
11:33 But isn't that funny to say?
11:34 Yeah, so I was very rebellious in that sense. Yeah.
11:38 So even in prison, it was almost--
11:41 once I was put into that environment,
11:43 especially at 17 years old, it was almost like I thrived.
11:47 It was almost like, "Oh, this is it.
11:49 This is where I belong--
11:50 I know how to, I know how to live here.
11:52 Right, because, you know,
11:53 inadvertently, my father taught us
11:56 that violence controls people and their behavior.
12:01 This is what he tried to do by,
12:03 you know, punishing us
12:05 to not do what my mother was teaching us that violence,
12:10 you can control people and their behavior.
12:13 So they put me into an environment
12:15 that was perfectly set up
12:17 for everything I'd been taught. Right.
12:19 So I never had a period in there
12:24 where I felt like, "Uh, boy, this is--I'm out of place here.
12:28 I don't belong in prison." Yeah, I'm afraid or...
12:30 I was shocked when they first sent me to prison
12:32 because at 17 years old,
12:33 I thought the crimes that I was committing,
12:36 you don't go to prison. Right.
12:37 But they--it was. They were serious crimes.
12:40 You know, robbing a pizzeria or a store--
12:44 Hijacking a car--
12:45 Right, every thing was serious crimes.
12:47 But in your mind, they weren't? No--
12:49 You haven't killed anybody. At that point, right.
12:52 And it wasn't for the lack of not trying.
12:56 You know what I mean, if a car--if somebody took--
12:58 And one thing, you just say that so casual,
13:02 that was the lifestyle.
13:04 It is-- through that lifestyle,
13:06 you are somewhat desensitized to the inhumanity of it
13:10 of what's going on.
13:12 So, I mean, I don't say it in a cavalier way
13:14 but I did deal with it.
13:16 And it wasn't in my mind, like, I know how people think today
13:21 what you were referring to normal people
13:23 because I've been around a lot of normal people now
13:26 and I know they thing differently
13:27 because they don't understand how could you do that. Right.
13:30 So how could you even think that way?
13:32 If somebody was somewhat reluctant to give me
13:37 what I was taking, I would, you know, you would attack him,
13:41 assault him. You know, I don't want to get too graphic
13:43 but you would actually, no, no, you're setting this out.
13:47 I'm not leaving without it. Right.
13:49 And I'm gonna take everything I need to take to get it.
13:52 So if you want to, you know, how far do you want this to go?
13:57 And I've used a phrase before, you know,
14:00 when I would be doing robberies at time,
14:01 you know, telling people,
14:03 you know, "Let's not have this be a homicide.
14:05 You know, don't cause this to be a homicide.
14:08 Just get this set this stuff up. Just relax.
14:10 And I did a lot of those in, you know, prison--
14:14 So now you talk about in so in prison
14:17 you realized that I can-- this is the people I know.
14:21 This is environment I know. I can do this.
14:27 Yeah, I hate to say it
14:29 but I kind of felt comfortable. Yeah.
14:32 It wasn't an experience like people believe,
14:35 "Oh, it must be horrible in here.
14:37 It must be bad."
14:38 No, I actually felt comfortable and I fit.
14:42 You knew the rules? Right.
14:43 You learned them. And it continued on.
14:47 Well, the first--the first time I went to prison,
14:49 it took me a long time to realize that
14:52 these people are running a prison
14:54 and they're gonna run it the way they want to run it
14:56 and I can't run it, so I needed to go with it. Right.
14:59 But I'm not talking about the rules of the prison
15:01 or the prison guards,
15:02 I'm talking about the rules of the inmates
15:04 because that's a whole different thing.
15:06 It's a whole subculture. Yes.
15:08 Yeah, but those rules can even be altered by force.
15:15 You know what I mean, if a guy says,
15:17 "Hey, man, that's my chair.
15:18 That's my"--"Not anymore." Yeah.
15:21 The rules are that, that's this guy's seat in
15:26 where you watch TV or the chow hall
15:28 or what have you. "No, not anymore.
15:30 That was your seat, beat it."
15:33 So that type of thing and the rule to that is,
15:36 are you strong enough to take this?
15:39 Are you strong enough to invoke this thing you're doing?
15:43 So guys would try to alter the rules
15:47 and they may not have the ability to do it.
15:51 Fortunately for me, a pretty big guy
15:54 and the level of my violence was limitless. Right.
16:00 So I was able to really thrive in there.
16:04 You know, what's really interesting to me
16:06 is that everything that you knew really,
16:11 you learned well and more so in prison
16:13 than anywhere else I'm sure.
16:15 You know, what I mean it's like that,
16:17 you know, now I am really reinforced
16:20 that my violence is how I'm gonna get things.
16:22 That this is what's gonna keep me alive.
16:24 The worst thing-- I've said this in the past.
16:27 I think one of the worst things that the justice system
16:30 did at that time was to send me to an adult prison.
16:36 They don't do it anymore but I actually was at that time
16:39 at 17 put into Jackson Prison in Jackson, Michigan.
16:42 It's the largest walled prison in the world.
16:45 I mean, there's every type of criminal in there.
16:48 So you're introduced to, I mean, every type of criminal that's,
16:55 you know, committed crimes in the state of Michigan.
16:58 And I think they made a mistake.
17:00 And they know this now.
17:02 Now they have separate facilities set up for anybody
17:05 from 17 to 21 and different things like that.
17:09 But that was a mistake.
17:12 'Cause if you're gonna survive,
17:14 you have to learn more behaviors. Right.
17:17 I mean, I was 17 years old.
17:18 I was big-- I was, you know, a big kid
17:21 but I wasn't willing,
17:24 I wasn't--I was willing to do whatever I had to do
17:32 to make sure people knew that, you know, I'm a big kid
17:35 but you're not just gonna come in my cell and take,
17:38 you know, my groceries.
17:39 Or you're not just gonna come in my cell
17:41 and take my stuff. Right.
17:43 You know what I mean, 'cause all that robberies,
17:45 the same stuff, the sexual assaults
17:48 all that stuff goes on in prisons.
17:50 Drugs, dealing. You know, robbing.
17:51 If somebody walking back from the store with groceries,
17:54 you got a couple guys in there that don't have nothing
17:57 and they are doing 20 to 30 years for something
18:00 and you think they care about, you know, your grandmother cash
18:05 and a disability check and sending you,
18:08 you know, $40 in a joint,
18:09 so you can walk over to the commissary
18:11 and buy a couple of items, no.
18:13 So they don't care.
18:15 So you have all that same type of behavior in there.
18:18 So it's a matter of being a man and just,
18:22 you know, now not everybody has to be involved
18:26 in that type of behavior.
18:27 You know, there's guys in there that--
18:30 Just do their time. Do their time and pass through.
18:33 You know, they're passing through there.
18:35 And... But you survived there.
18:38 So you did the 5 1/2 years there.
18:41 You get out and what happens when you get out?
18:44 I actually thought at the time when I got out,
18:47 I said, "You know, I'm never coming back to prison again."
18:50 I actually thought, you know, I was rehabilitated.
18:55 So I said, "I'm never coming back here again."
18:58 And when I got out, it was, like,
19:00 I mean, within weeks, couple weeks,
19:05 6 weeks I was riving again, within 6 weeks.
19:09 I was doing drugs.
19:10 I was right back like I had never left the streets.
19:14 And, you know, the result.
19:17 You know, when you say that like I get out
19:19 and in your mind at least for a minute,
19:22 it's like I'm not going back there.
19:24 I'm not doing that again.
19:26 Is there anything or anybody that kind of reached out
19:31 and grabbed hold of you when you got out?
19:33 Or were you just saying, you know,
19:36 'cause, I mean, what would change?
19:38 I mean, everything that you learned for 5 1/2 years
19:40 just kind of escalated who you were
19:42 just increased all those behaviors.
19:44 So did anybody step up and say,
19:46 you know, here's a rehab or a halfway house or...
19:50 No, you know, naturally, you have a parole officer
19:53 that's willing to monitor your behavior
19:55 but they're not trying to discourage you from,
20:00 you know, bad behavior.
20:02 They're just watching to catch you when you do something bad.
20:06 They're not trying to say, like, "Gee, young man,
20:09 I hope you really make it.
20:10 I hope you do well out here."
20:12 No, they're just waiting for you to hang yourself.
20:16 So I had, my family was,
20:18 you know, my brothers and sisters
20:19 and everybody have always been supportive of me to an extent.
20:24 I'm not saying they weren't. Right.
20:27 But it was decisions that I made
20:29 to choose to go away from my family,
20:32 like you said earlier, and not be normal,
20:36 not go home and have dinner with my family
20:39 and stay at the house
20:41 and what am I gonna do this evening?
20:42 I had to do. Right.
20:44 No, no, no.
20:45 I had to go to the street.
20:46 I'm gonna miss something. Right.
20:48 If I'm here at the house,
20:50 what's going on out there I'm gonna miss it. Right.
20:52 And it was like an obsession,
20:55 a compulsion that I had to be there.
20:58 I had to be out there.
20:59 So you had that going back out, you're robbing again.
21:02 It was just weeks before you get busted again.
21:05 Now it's a violation of probation?
21:06 Yes, and a new case. Okay.
21:09 So I wind up back in prison. How long?
21:12 I got 3 to 15, the second time, that time. Okay.
21:17 And went through the whole process again.
21:20 And what I have to say too is when you get in there
21:24 even the second time is you won't pack and settle in.
21:27 I know how to do this.
21:28 Yeah, it was a little--
21:30 at the beginning it was a little--
21:34 well, let me, let me back track once.
21:36 I did escape in 1979 when I was in on the first time
21:42 and I escaped from state prison system in Michigan
21:45 and I was out on a run for 15 months
21:48 and I wound up getting arrested in Houston and everything.
21:51 So when I went back after that escape
21:55 and I had to do extra time in the remaining of my time,
21:58 that's when I said, "Man, this is harder coming back."
22:03 It was a little different.
22:04 So then after that period, when I got up,
22:06 it just seemed like, you know, I'd been out there. Yeah.
22:09 You know, I was out there. I don't want to be back.
22:10 Right, I don't want to be back.
22:12 And so when I got back in and I did it,
22:15 that's when I got out after that first bit
22:18 and I include that before the escape
22:20 and after the escape as the first bit,
22:22 the first sentence.
22:24 After I got out after that, that's when I said,
22:26 "I'm never going back," but I went back.
22:29 So it was a little harder when you went back?
22:32 Yes, it was-- the first it takes
22:35 a couple months to adjust and then, you know,
22:37 you're just back in and it's like you never left.
22:40 How much time-- Because the time goes so fast.
22:43 And that time I did little over the 3
22:50 because I came back on a violation
22:53 that probe board made me do some extra time.
22:55 And I was released again and...
23:00 There's a famous saying that I love in recovery.
23:03 It says, if you want to relapse, somebody says,
23:07 "Well, what do I do to avoid relapse?"
23:11 This says, if you are worried about that,
23:14 you have to got to do something.
23:15 You've got to change your behaviors.
23:17 But if you do absolutely nothing new,
23:19 it's just a matter of time before you're back in jail
23:22 or you're back in your addiction.
23:24 Like as you came out,
23:26 even here when you say that
23:27 the sadness was is not doing anything
23:30 than those behaviors is just a matter of days or weeks
23:33 before those behaviors pick up
23:34 and that's with all of us. Right.
23:36 And it's really apparent when somebody is in and out of jail
23:39 because you want to just say "Baby, don't do that.
23:42 You just did that."
23:43 You know, Cliff Harris who's a friend of mine
23:45 who was in and out of jail and his son used to say "Daddy,
23:48 that's what got you in jail."
23:49 But if nothing changes, nothing changes.
23:53 Other people can see that but for some reason at a time,
23:56 I mean, like I said, I knew prison was gonna be
24:00 the result of my behavior
24:03 but you're just hoping it's not today. Yeah.
24:05 I hope today I don't get caught. Right.
24:07 So I know if I keep doing this,
24:10 well, maybe I'll stop before I get caught.
24:12 But if I keep living this lifestyle, I'm gonna get caught.
24:14 So how many, how many times were you in and out? Five.
24:17 Five. Five times?
24:20 My heart breaks for you.
24:21 You know, I feel like, you know,
24:23 I know that your mom wasn't around,
24:24 but I feel like there somebody had to say to you
24:27 my heart breaks that you had to deal with that so many times.
24:29 I know it upset my family. One time my brother was--
24:34 they were at my court and they were crying.
24:36 And I'm like, "What, what are you upset about?"
24:40 "We don't want to see you in there."
24:42 I said, "I'm the one doing the time.
24:44 What are you worried about it for?
24:45 Don't worry about it. I got this."
24:48 So I didn't understand that in those different times
24:52 but I've done a total of 24 1/2 years
24:56 in state and federal prisons.
24:59 And a lot of times even after that other state time
25:03 I went out and I always had been using drugs up to 1984.
25:10 And I used heroin.
25:12 I'd been a heroin addict three different times in my life.
25:15 And the crack thing was kind of just starting there
25:20 in the early 80s, mid 80s.
25:22 And I, you know, did a bunch of that.
25:24 I was experiencing with all that.
25:26 That really increases violence like crazy.
25:29 Yeah, because you got to keep it, you got to have it.
25:31 You know, with heroin, if you hit a nice lick,
25:34 you get a squirt, you're good for 10-12 hours
25:36 if you get straight.
25:37 But then you got to go out and do something.
25:39 But with the crack, you got to continuously be getting money.
25:42 And I was doing all that,I mean.
25:44 So in '84, I went back in the jail there
25:50 and I was in the county jail and I was thinking,
25:54 "Man, why am I doing this?
25:56 Why am I doing this stuff, living like this,
25:59 to buy these guys Cadillacs and let them live these lives
26:02 and I'm being manipulated here?" Right.
26:05 "I'm the fool here.
26:06 I'm the sucker." 'Cause you're not the one
26:08 that's making the money.
26:09 You're just running the trials and staying--Right.
26:10 I'm jeopardizing my life and liberty,
26:12 so this dude can drive a Cadillac.
26:15 So that's where I had a turning point in 1984
26:19 and I smoked cigarettes and all so.
26:21 And I kind of just let it all go.
26:24 I let the cigarettes go.
26:25 I let the drugs go.
26:27 At this time, you're in prison?
26:29 In jail. Deciding to do some sort of recovery.
26:34 On my own. Yeah.
26:35 I thought, I said," I got this.
26:36 I'm being the sucker here.
26:38 And I said this is--I'm no longer gonna be this way."
26:40 I'm clean enough.
26:42 And, you know, I mean,
26:43 I didn't say I was never gonna mess with drugs
26:45 because later on then I decided to be the guy.
26:47 I wanted to be the one dealing it.
26:49 I wanted to be the one making--
26:51 I wanted to drive the Cadillac.
26:52 The Cadillac, right, which I did.
26:55 I wound up getting after this time and I wasn't using.
26:59 I didn't use cocaine or heroin or anything like that till 1999,
27:05 right before I went back into federal prison again.
27:07 And at that point of my life
27:09 I said, "Well, I got enough money.
27:11 I'm not gonna be able to spend all my money.
27:13 I'm not gonna be able to--
27:15 You're very successful in dealing?
27:17 Yeah, very successful and I wound up
27:19 starting some other legitimate businesses.
27:21 I had a tattoo shop.
27:23 I had a night club.
27:24 I was invested in some bars with different--
27:28 And what I like about you saying that, Casey,
27:30 is that a lot of addicts are very bright.
27:35 And with your addiction, like I'm listening to you,
27:38 your addiction was the anger and the power.
27:41 The drugs kind of tripped you up a lot. Yep.
27:44 But during that time that you didn't use,
27:46 that anger and power drove you to be pretty successful.
27:49 I always thought that before if I would use this,
27:52 this motivating force that was motivating me to stealing stuff
27:58 for crime, if I used it in a positive way,
28:02 there would be no limit to what I could possibly do. Right.
28:04 I was involved in retail fraud
28:07 where I would go in these stores
28:09 and take the garments into the fitting room,
28:13 take the labels out, sow them into other garments
28:16 with the price tag in it in used clothing
28:18 that I would get at a resale shop and return these items.
28:22 So the thing which you would be running around all day
28:26 doing these different hustles, I mean,
28:28 I made a lot of money doing it but I wasted it all on drugs.
28:31 Right. But once I decided not to use the drugs
28:35 and my focus was still hustle,
28:39 I made extremely large amounts of money. Right, right.
28:42 And my life completely changed in that aspect.
28:45 Then you started using again
28:47 and ended up back in prison?
28:48 Well, I was already going back in prison in 1990
28:52 for a federal gun charge where I was involved
28:56 with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club
28:59 and I came to this through prison.
29:02 You know, meeting some of these guys in prison
29:04 and they had a certain air about them, you know,
29:08 there's a hierarchy in the prison, so to speak,
29:11 if you're a famous criminal, you're more famous on the yard.
29:16 Guys are gonna cater to you, if you're, you know,
29:19 could be an Italian guy that's affiliated
29:21 with what our society calls the mafia,
29:24 those guys get treated different in prison.
29:27 Not to say I was being treated wrong,
29:29 but naturally you want the maximum--
29:32 Respect. Respect. Right.
29:34 So I got involved with the motorcycle club
29:38 and there's a lot of motorcycle clubs in our societies.
29:43 But these guys were one percenter club
29:46 and it's not just a motorcycle club.
29:49 It was a sub-culture.
29:50 It was a way of living, way of life
29:53 so I didn't go through the minor leagues.
29:56 I had to go right to one of the bigger clubs
29:59 and a lot of guys don't do it that way, but I did.
30:02 And that led me.
30:06 I'll be honest, the motorcycle club
30:08 helped me in some ways by calming me down
30:13 in my reaction time to things and there's a rule in the club--
30:18 'Cause you do educate yourself
30:20 in that businesses or selling drugs.
30:22 There's a lot of monies that go back and forth
30:25 and so it cannot be just idiots that are in the clubs.
30:28 You have people that really do know what they are doing.
30:32 And like you are saying that you get almost training
30:35 that if you just fly off the handle
30:37 it may not be the smartest thing in this situation.
30:39 You're gonna wind up in jail.
30:40 You're gonna wind up back in jail.
30:42 So we need you here. Yeah.
30:43 So don't react like this-- Cause you know even--right.
30:45 Don't react like that.
30:46 There's no needle laws.
30:48 There's no heroin laws.
30:50 There's no crack laws.
30:51 You can't deal it. You can't sell it.
30:53 You can't use it.
30:54 So they helped me in a way, I'll give them that.
30:57 They helped me in a way, like you said,
31:00 to be out for a while. Right.
31:02 And try to get myself calmed down.
31:05 The longest I stayed in the streets was 7 years
31:09 was while I was with the motorcycle club.
31:11 Other than that, I probably
31:13 would've never lasted in the streets that long.
31:14 So, you know, because of time constraints,
31:17 I would really like to know, where did,
31:21 when did it start and how did it start
31:24 where you decided or God decided that enough is enough?
31:28 Where you end up coming into a place
31:31 where you're gonna turn things around?
31:33 And what I love about, you know,
31:34 the first part of the teaching thing,
31:36 I talked about, you know, getting on a tricycle,
31:39 you're going from a Harley Davidson
31:40 to a tricycle and so, how do you do that?
31:43 And what did that look like?
31:48 What changed me I was in federal prison at that time
31:53 and I had a friend that kept promoting me
31:56 to go to the chapel. Mm-hmm.
31:58 And I said, "I'm not going to the chapel."
32:01 The chapel was for, to me, in my mind,
32:05 the chapel was for sex offenders,
32:07 pedophiles and snitchers and informants--
32:11 And a lot of people think that inside.
32:13 And I don't think that I've ever heard anyone
32:15 actually say it other than, you know,
32:17 people that I know but in their mind, man,
32:21 that is for a whole another thing.
32:24 That's the way I looked at it.
32:26 That's what I always looked at it that way.
32:28 So I said, "I'm not going to the chapel.
32:30 Even if I did want to learn about the Bible
32:33 or learn about Jesus, learn about any of it,
32:35 I'm not doing it over there in a chapel with those guys."
32:38 So I'm sure these people were praying for me.
32:43 I'm sure she was and I continued on and then after 9/11 happened,
32:49 I was thinking what would possess somebody
32:52 to do something like this and they were saying
32:54 it was for their god.
32:56 What would possess this?
32:57 And I started studying a little bit
32:59 and I had a Palestinian guy.
33:04 He was considered a terrorist and he started talking to me.
33:10 He's seeing this behavior in me of the anger,
33:14 bitterness, all these traits that the Lord
33:18 has helped remove from me.
33:20 He's seeing this behavior in me
33:22 and was trying to enthuse me into Islam. Right.
33:26 'Cause that would be really good for sure.
33:29 Well, for his mindset. Yeah.
33:31 I'm not saying he's the representative of Islam,
33:34 but for his mindset, we did agree about a lot of things.
33:38 We did--I did like the guy.
33:41 We could sit and talk and communicate
33:42 and I did like the guy.
33:44 So I started studying and I was studying the Bible
33:47 and little by little things started.
33:52 You know, I started questioning
33:53 some things and studying
33:56 a little bit and reading more and more
33:59 and it started making sense. I love that about God.
34:02 Yeah. I love the fact that, you know--
34:04 But the Bible confirms it that, you know,
34:07 reading the word and hearing the word,
34:08 you know, that's how our faith grows.
34:10 Exactly. And our heart changes
34:11 and that hardness starts to kind of breakdown some.
34:15 But, you know, I can see you,
34:17 you know, in there and all the sudden,
34:19 you know, the Holy Spirit
34:20 just being able to get through even a little bit.
34:24 That's amazing.
34:25 Well, for a long time and once I did start going to the chapel,
34:28 I wouldn't let nobody see me in the yard with a Bible.
34:31 I was no way gonna be walking across
34:33 the yard with a Bible.
34:35 So I was kind of trying to do it secretly and keep it quiet.
34:39 During that time when you said a prayer,
34:44 did you feel that presence of God?
34:47 Did you feel that God was with you paying attention to you?
34:51 Did you feel that yet?
34:55 Well, looking back, I'm gonna say
34:58 I felt it at different points in my life.
35:03 One time I was in a, called a dope house,
35:07 a shoot place where everybody's shooting dope
35:10 and I was a heroin addict to the extent
35:13 that the veins are--I don't have veins in my arms no more.
35:16 I mean, I was using the needles in my groin
35:19 to 'cause you got the big arteries and veins
35:22 through the center of your body.
35:24 And I was sitting there and I put a needle in
35:28 and I was just injecting the drugs
35:29 in and I thought to myself,
35:32 just in my mind, "Lord, this has got to stop.
35:35 This has got to stop."
35:37 And I got arrested that afternoon.
35:40 And that was in '84.
35:42 Now all my life, I believed that the Bible
35:46 was the word of God.
35:47 I mean, a few of the ever, I remember--
35:48 That there was a God.
35:50 Yeah, I believed that.
35:51 I believed it, just, you know, if somebody said,
35:53 "Hey, do you know Jesus died for your sins?"
35:55 I'd say, "Sure.
35:56 Who don't know it?"
35:58 I mean, I always believed it was the word of God.
35:59 I was always taught it was.
36:01 But I didn't have a faith in it.
36:03 I didn't have-- I didn't understand it
36:07 and I didn't have a faith in it.
36:09 I believed it to be true as, you know,
36:11 intellectual thought, just as much as you believed,
36:14 you know, George Washington was the First President,
36:16 but I didn't have faith in it.
36:18 So that belief that I had had no power
36:23 to transform or change my life.
36:25 So as you're now opening up the word of God
36:27 and looking at that, ending up
36:29 in chapel is you're starting to have faith in it.
36:34 Yes, little by little, I started learning.
36:39 I've learned this if you don't know the scriptures,
36:43 how can I apply them?
36:45 If I go to my mind and I'm trying to resource information
36:49 on how to deal with a situation, and all I have is from
36:53 the circumstance s of my life, in the shoes I've walked in,
36:57 then that's only answer I can solve this problem
37:00 is through what I've learnt.
37:01 And this is violence or drama.
37:06 So this is the only way I could resource information
37:08 that I had to get it from.
37:10 By learning the scriptures, I've come to an understanding
37:14 that now I have another, so to speak, like a computer,
37:17 a databank to search out and come up
37:21 with a proper solution to the problem I have.
37:25 So I've learned by studying the scriptures
37:29 and I studied extensively in prison.
37:32 After I went in, in '99 for years, years,
37:36 studied extensively to get a understanding
37:39 because anything I do, I have to do it to the maximum.
37:42 I can't half step it.
37:44 So I didn't want to, say, walk around a prison,
37:47 you know, say, "Hey, I am a Christian now."
37:49 You know, I had, you know,
37:51 if guys--I didn't have a spiritual guide in it,
37:53 but if guys would ask me questions,
37:55 other guys that were professing to be Christians in there,
37:58 I had to know it.
38:00 I had to be able to answer it.
38:01 I didn't have nothing I could go to other
38:03 than go back to my cell, get on my knees,
38:06 pray for the Lord to give me an understanding
38:08 of these scriptures and check the word.
38:12 I bought every kind of book.
38:14 I could get a Bible encyclopedias,
38:17 Bible dictionaries, Greek, Hebrew dictionaries.
38:20 I bought every type of book I could get,
38:22 so I could get a good understanding of the scriptures
38:27 because I had to be able to know
38:31 if somebody was trying to throw me something sideways,
38:35 I had to be able to know to catch it.
38:37 Right. And your only hope for change was here.
38:40 Well, at the time, even in the beginning,
38:43 I didn't know if it would be a change. Okay.
38:46 I was just studying,
38:47 but I learnt that there is power there to change a person,
38:51 to change the way we think--
38:53 Then when did you study-- Renewing of the mind--Yeah.
38:55 When did you start getting that?
38:56 That "Hey, I'm studying just to not get tripped up
39:00 and yet I am changing."
39:02 When did you get that sense?
39:04 'Cause that's an exciting thing to know is that God just says,
39:08 you know what, I actually want to bring
39:10 you into a place of healing.
39:12 Well, it's like anything we do weightlifting or weight loss,
39:16 other people are gonna notice
39:17 it before you notice it yourself. Yes.
39:19 You're gonna look at the mirror yourself and say,
39:20 "Man, I'm not losing my weight.
39:22 I'm not getting bigger, you know, lifting weights."
39:23 Yeah. But other people say,
39:25 "Man, big dog, you're like, you're building up.
39:27 You're pumping up a little bit."
39:29 "Oh, really. Okay."
39:30 Well, it was the same thing with me with the Bible
39:32 where I had guys in prison saying,
39:34 "Man, you're changing, man.
39:37 You used to be funny.
39:38 You used to be fun.
39:40 Come on, big dog."
39:41 But the fun that I'm not saying being a Christian
39:43 is not fun, but when people
39:45 just want to constantly dwell on profanity and--
39:49 The twisted stuff.
39:51 Yeah, that to them, that's their reasoning for fun,
39:55 then that's where they're messed up.
39:57 I exactly went to Chicago one time to be there
40:00 and see the Jerry Springer Show because I liked it so much.
40:03 I said, "I got to go there and see it."
40:05 And I actually went there and did it.
40:06 You can't pay me to watch Jerry Springer today.
40:09 So I was--those type of things where I used to think
40:13 was cool or funny is not where I'm struggling today saying,
40:17 uh, boy, I'd really like to do this.
40:20 I'd really like to do this.
40:21 But that what used to be fun,
40:23 it's not doing that because through the Holy Spirit
40:26 once that inner transformation changes,
40:29 when the change is there, it's gonna bring our outward
40:33 actions into harmony with the Holy Spirit
40:35 but once that change has been complete,
40:38 I'm not missing this.
40:40 I love that. I'm not interested in this.
40:41 We're gonna stop right there.
40:43 I'm gonna go on a break and I want to come back.
40:45 We're gonna close out the program,
40:47 but I want to ask you a few more things.
40:50 So, you know, I hope you heard what he was saying is,
40:54 it didn't even start to really look to change his life.
40:57 He just looked to get educated to what does the word say?
41:01 To put some more information in and all the sudden
41:04 he realized that, "Hey, are you changing me?"
41:07 And everything in your life changes,
41:09 but I want to hear a little bit more about that,
41:12 so we're gonna be right back. Stay with us.