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Press Release

Former Clemency Grantee Ordered Back to Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A Texas City woman who was granted clemency by the former presidential administration has been ordered back to federal prison for violating the terms of her supervised release, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.


A federal jury convicted Carol Denise Richardson, 49, of Texas City, for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base as well as two counts of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base. On June 16, 2006, U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison noted her extensive criminal history and ordered her to federal prison for the rest of her life.


However, former U.S. President Barack Obama granted Richardson clemency in early 2016. On July 28, 2016, she was released from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and placed on supervised release for a term of 10 years. During that time, she is required to abide be several conditions or face a return to prison for up to the remainder of that term. Less than a year after her release, Richardson has committed five separate violations of those terms.


On April 13, 2017, she was arrested by the Pasadena Police Department for theft. Not only was that a commission of a law violation, but she is also required to report any law enforcement contact to her probation officer within 72 hours, which she failed to do. She has also failed to maintain regular contact with the U.S. Probation Office and failed to report that she had been terminated from her employment with Home Health Providers for abandoning her position. She also failed to report a change in her residence. In fact, as of May 15, 2017, attempts to reach her were unsuccessful, and her whereabouts were unknown.


Richardson was later located and arrested May 31, 2017, for violating the terms of her federal supervised release. At the hearing today, the government presented evidence in support of her return to prison. “This defendant was literally given a second chance to become a productive member of society and has wasted it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Imperato. “She has clearly shown a willful disregard for the law and must face the consequences for her crimes and actions.”


Judge Ellison expressed his disappointment with the defendant, noting that she had wasted the extremely rare opportunity she was given. He then ordered her back to federal prison for 14 months. After serving her sentence, she will again be placed on similar terms of supervised release for five years.

Updated June 8, 2017