Please see the updated information to this news.
Jake Mitchell, the drummer for Austin’s Boxing Lesson, was sentenced a couple of weeks ago to 60 months in federal prison on marijuana charges. What makes Mitchell’s case particularly unsettling is that he was charged under the Patriot Act and has been branded a Narco-Terrorist. The band went public with the details today as Mitchell prepares to begin his sentence early next month, hoping to raise awareness of his case for the pending appeal and help support him and his family as they have lost everything. And the details only get more distressing.
According to the Boxing Lesson’s publicist, Ryan Cano, Mitchell’s wife is currently serving a six month sentence as a conspirator for not turning her husband in. While Cano acknowledges that the operation Mitchell was running out of his house in 2006 was certainly much more elaborate than a simple case of his growing pot for personal use, the fact that he was charged, and sentenced, under Patriot Act laws that have essentially branded him a domestic terrorist seems particularly ludicrous and disheartening.
Below is a message sent out by Cano concerning Mitchell’s and the band’s circumstances:
You know The Boxing Lesson aren’t ones to keep their mouths shut after several interviews and appearances since the release of their full length LP Wild Streaks & Windy Days. The real truth of the matter is that The Boxing Lesson have kept one of the most important parts of their story a secret. It is with much sadness we make this announcement but its time the public knows what is going on.
Jake Mitchell, drummer for The Boxing Lesson and most importantly, a dear friend, will be put in Federal jail at the beginning of Sept for some marijuana growing charges. What makes this story unique and
what has enraged every single one of our close friends, is that Jake has been branded by our government as a Terrorist under the Patriot Act. In fact, they have thrown the Narco-Terrorist tag on him. What this does legally for a defendant is mind blowing in terms of the new laws waged against them. If you are branded a terrorist, your wife doesn’t get spousal protections and will go to jail. If you are branded a terrorist, each party involved in the crime gets full responsibility for the scope of the crime. Then there are strict sentencing minimums. And remember we are talking about Marijuana here.
It is obvious from anyone who has ever met, hung out with and gotten to know Jake Mitchell that he is anything but a terrorist. This incorrect and unfair branding on our own US citizen and friend, Jake Mitchell, is a disgrace and this has caused untypical hardships on his life. He has sold his house, lost his cars, and his freedom… We know there was a crime involved but branding him a terrorist has set unfair sentencing guidelines on a person who is anything but a terrorist.
We are accepting PayPal donations to help Jake’s mounting legal bills
at : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boxing Lesson has two shows next week which will be Mitchell’s last before he begins his sentence. They are playing August 27 at Emo’s Lounge and August 28 at Carousel Lounge (appropriately enough for a Monkey Wrench Books benefit). The band will continue with Kevin Sparks filling in on drums.