De-Facto Life for Pot Prisoners: Antonio Bascaro #03846-021, the Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner
Offense: Conspiracy to Import and Distribute Marijuana
Sentence: 70 Years, No Parole
Incarcerated Since: 1980
Priors: None: First Time Offender
Date of Birth: 10/22/1934
Family: 3 Children, 8 Grandchildren
About the Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner, Antonio Bascaro, and His Case
Meet the nation’s longest serving marijuana prisoner, Antonio Bascaro, who has served over 35 years behind bars for a marijuana conspiracy offense. A former Cuban naval pilot who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, Bascaro fled Castro’s Cuba shortly thereafter. Now in his 80s, Antonio will be eligible for release in in the summer of 2019, but his daughter Aicha, who lost her father to prison when she 12 years old, fears that may be too late. The octogenarian grandfather is in poor health and suffers from severe back problems, glaucoma, and other ailments. Back surgery left him confined to a wheelchair for a period of time, but with the help of a walker he is slowly starting to get back on his feet.
Antonio’s “crime” involved no violence and no drugs aside from marijuana and his part in it was that of a minor player. He had no prior convictions. That’s right,just like John Knock, Craig Cesal, and George Martorano, Antonio Bascaro is a first time offender serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug crime.
Everyone involved inAntonio Bascaro’s case, including the true kingpin who ran the operation that used Cuban fishing boats to smuggle marijuana, have long been released. The only reason Antonio received such a harsh sentence is that he refused to “cooperate” and testify against others. Antonio Bascaro, who has been a model prisoner, is the only person from this case who remains behind bars.
In one of the most ironic, cruel and downright nonsensical twists of fate ever, the fact that his case is so old and he has been incarcerated for so long disqualifies Antonio Bascaro from any of the sentencing reduction and compassionate release programs recently put into place. Those who wrote the laws failed to take into account the possibility of inmates who have been warehoused away as long as Antonio. So while others might get Compassionate Release or a reduction in sentence, this nonviolent, first time marijuana offender must serve out his entire sentence (which will be over 39 years, if he makes it that long).
Nonetheless, Antonio’s family and supporters are lobbying for the President to grant him clemency, so he can spend what little time he has left with his loved ones.
Write to Antonio Bascaro, the Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner
Antonio Bascaro loves to get cards and letters from supporters.
Antonio Bascaro #03846-021
PO Box 779800
Miami, FL 33177
Getting to Know the Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner Antonio Bascaro
I asked Antonio “Tony” Bascaro a series of questions to help everyone get to know him better, Here’s what he said:
What meal or food do you crave most that you will want to eat when you get out?
A porterhouse steak!
Who are your favorite authors?
Lots of authors, but in general I like books about business along with action and westerns.
Prefer winter or summer?
Nocturnal or morning person?
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, once a day.
Action movies and westerns.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Favorite song(s) and/or musical artist(s)?
My favorite artist is a now deceased Cuban musician named Benny More.
What is your favorite color?
If you could walk out tomorrow and go anywhere – where would it be and why?
To see my family and my home as I have missed them so much!
If you could travel to any country – where would it be and why?
To Cuba, once it is free of communists, as I have missed it a lot.
What do you most want people to understand about being incarcerated that you don’t think they understand?
That prisoners are people, we are human beings. We are NOT all alike. We love and need our families and friends. We deserve a second chance. We still have faith and hope.
More About the Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner, Antonio Bascaro
- Change.org Petition Supporting Antonio Bascaro’s Clemency (started by his daughter Aicha)
- Antonio Bascaro Facebook Page (managed by his daughter Aicha)
- Obama Just Granted Clemency to a Pot Lifer but Dozens More Remain Behind Bars (Mother Jones)
- Obama Commutes Two Marijuana Sentences and 44 Other Drug Offenders (Texas Cannabis Report)
- Antonio Bascaro, 80, The Nation’s Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner (The Clemency Report)
- Free Antonio Bascaro, The Longest Serving Marijuana Prisoner in the US (High Times)
- Top Ten Outrageous Marijuana Sentences (The Clemency Report)