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The Texarkana Dons by Mark Anthony Given

Where 'ya at 'Little Big Man?
                 DON CARLOS MARCELLO always had a look on his face of permanent surprise and open disdain and it he didn't want to talk to you he feigned hard of hearing but he always had a smile for me.   When you walk into the chow hall at FCI Texarkana you got in line along either wall, usually whites on one side and blacks on the other with a few hold outs... I noticed them as soon as I got in line about three quarter's down the wall where we always sit by the front door in case shit jumped off we could be the first one's out.  The Texarkana Don's table, me Don Carlos Marcello, Don Joseph Fama (link below) probably the best man I ever met in jail, the defrocked Texas Supreme Justice Don Yarbough (link) who was goofy as hell but we went easy on him....
                RIGHT OUTSIDE the Chow Hall smack in the middle of the long East to West two story medium security prison was the mail room and outside an ancient post office like a bank of mail slots with combination locks where you checked your mail after five in the afternoon.  Right next to it was R&D, Receiving and delivery anything coming in or out of the institution, and every weekday morning there would be a handful of Mexican looking immigrants sitting on the floor after breakfast and nearly all had the downcast look like they were heading to purgatory, not freedom... I think we were talking about exactly that when Don Joe says's
          "Hey, Carlos?  You're an Immigrant are you?" 
          I liked to fell out of chair thinking all hell would break loose but Don Carlos just smiled broadly like the thought of it brought back pleasant memories.  The only reason I was at the table was, well other than being from New Orleans for a long time, was my ability to make them laugh their ass off for a few minutes every day with a story or two.    
          "Come on Carlos, what happened?"
          I ventured and he leaned in, he had just came back from Springfield or the BOP Mayo Clinic with a long illness.  His co defendant, Governor Edwin Edwards bag man Buddy Roemer had gone to the prison camp, just outside the double fences, and they kept the place mowed, etc.
         WHEN DON CARLOS MARCELLO was asked if he could guarantee a hospital bid from the state of Louisiana standing in a suite at the Hotel Monteleone, in the heart of the historic French Quarter and under surveillance by the Fed's, he tapped his coat pocket and said he had them right there, meaning all of them in his pocket......
          HE LOOKED LIKE a harmless old man to me.
         "Dem bastards!" 
         He glanced around like he was still under surveillance.  "The called me my lawyer down to the FBI building on Tulane.   They slapped the cuffs on me, took me straight to Moisant Fields and flew me to Guatemala with just the shirt on my back! 
       I GOT DESIGNATED to FCI Texarkana several weeks after sentencing while at USP EL Reno, Oklahoma, the reception center for the United States Bureau of Prisons I wrote about in The Real Con Air, **** went to the parole board at twenty months (20), Mandatory Release at forty (40) months,  and Full Term Expiration at sixty (60) months for a five (5) year sentence, or a "Pound," in New York prison slang.  The Parole board laughed right in my face.  The hearing took all of five minutes and they told me i "got MY BREAK IN THE COURTROOM," to "take it to the door," some more prison slang, "Max Out," or "Full Term Expiration," I think it says on on Rap Sheet. "Thirty Page Rap Sheet" (Link below).

           THERE IS A PECKING ORDER in prison and it is explained to everyone by where and who you sit with.   If you're a smuck you come in when everyone else is leaving and sit by yourself.  They are also hands down the single dangerous place in prison and nearly every fight I seen happened in the chow hall.  Because this may be the only place you get to see this person, believe it or not, you don;t get to walk around where ever you want.  The fed's use "Controlled Movement," and you will be shaking down and waned over for metal every hundred feet or so, and pass thru a series of large metal gates just to get to the Chow Hall.  They know this is where shit jumps off.  Once I was introduced to "Don Carlos Marcello," just because I was from New Orleans by Don Waddel, I got nodded back over every time just to make them laugh their ass off.  It was a lot of pressure believe or not.  I don't expect you to believe any of this, but I don't care.  I don't know how you can call your blog "Real Life Heist and makeup stuff... And I knew exactly who he was like everybody else.  He is all I heard about for over a year when I got there.  Sure enough, he was there, went out to the best prison care anywhere at Springfield or the Mayo Clinic for an extended stay and walla, there he was.
           THE FIRST TIME I saw Don Carlos Marcello was in the Commissary line about six o'clock at night in the middle of the institution before you enter the Education Building and or on through out to the yard.  Controlled Movement you got ten minutes to get where you're going or get locked Out of Bounds.
          THE THREE DON'S were holding court in the chow hall at the federal correctional facility at Texarkana, Texas in the summer of 1989, and they were waiting on me. Several weeks earlier I was sitting with Don Carlos Marcello and the defrocked Texas Supreme Court Justice Donald Yarborough, doing time for bank fraud. His case is in education textbooks on how to screw up an election by name recognition alone. Them hillbilly's thought they were voting for "Cale," Yarborough, the famous Texas race car driver! Once he got named to the highest state court in the State of Texas he told me bought a bank, or got appointed to a board and wrestled control and then began to live the life of a high rolling Texas Supreme Court Justice! Once they were on to him he absconded to a small island in Ghana or somewhere and enrolled in medical school. He was in the same Unit as Carlos, "A Unit, the worst of the Units. I was at the other end, E Unit and my two man cell over looked two lighted tennis courts, boccie ball, a third of a mile running track with a baseball and soccer field in the middle.
                 WHEN I FIRST GOT there I walked out on to the recreation yard after being in the Mobile County Jail for four months and just took off running on that track about seven-thirty at night and couldn't make one whole lap. I didn't know how to control my breathing, and the following Fourth of July ran thirty laps in one-hundred-degree heat....ten straight miles without stopping. Did it twice more before I left. I was thirty-two years old....

              THE BOOK MAFIA KING FISH Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. By John H. Davis, had just came out and rehashed the same 'Carlos Marcello has the President of the United States Assassinated, and the New York Times said it was " " The book opened by describing Don Carlos Marcello at the very correctional facility at Texarkana, Texas and, said it was surrounded by two high stone walls. I remember looking over my shoulder out the window at the two large hurricane perimeter fences with razor wire and twenty-four patrol and knew the whole thing was bullshit.
            I ASKED DON CARLOS MARCELLO about it and showed him the book. I told him I had it and he asked me to bring it to him and when I handed it to him I pointed to the part about the wall and after he read the couple sentences he closed the book and sat back with that big shit-eating grin on his face and just smiled. That's all he needed to see too.... I still hoped he may blurt out something so I asked him after a few minutes what he thought about the Title of the book. He looked at me a little longer than usual and I could tell he was sizing me up for a federal agent and just slowly shook his head and made a face like he tasted a bad Muffalatta and that was the end of that....
           CARLOS MARCELLO WAS a funny bastard. Ask anyone who really knew him, like many New Orleans old Ginny's they love to be laughing, cooking and ham it up nearly all the time... That's why I was brought to his table and was welcome back anytime there was an open spot. Sometimes he would ask people to leave to make way for me. The New Orleans connection will only get you so far, I had to produce and I also knew if I spent enough time with him one day I could turn to him and say,
"Yo Carlos?'
I got to know dog, give me the skinny?
Did you whack JFK?

           THAT'S HOW HE was. You see that picture up there of him? He looks to be in his fifties, early sixties and when I knew him he was in his seventies but that's what he looked like: A big 'Fuck You shit-eating' grin and laughing his ass off. Fellow New Orleans Don Waddel introduced us and brought Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Yarborough into our group, and I brought Don Joseph Fama.
          SEVERAL WEEKS before on a Sunday the place was packed but Don Carlos always just came inside the door and sat down and one of his minions stood in line and brought his food to him. Might have been an Easter Sunday, I saw it like the wedding scene in The Godfather. Don Joseph Fama, straight out of Central casting with a big belly with a cigar stub in the corner of his mouth, perfectly pressed government dark green Dickie's but real well worn appears at my side, bends down like he's kissing me on the cheek, and says's in my ear after making lots of eye contact with Carlos and nodding to him like they were old acquaintances, says in my ear,

"You're doing real good kid, come see me when you get a
         We lived in the same Unit. You would have thought I personally kissed the Pope's ring the way people treated me after that.   Carlos had a Special Medical Meal wrapped in plastic brought to his table and unwrapped at the table. Every eye in the joint is on him everywhere he went. Even the Staff was gaga over him and because he had one of them unique New Orleans character personalities, and talked real funny, people just loved him every where he went and he was treated like a King, even in prison...

Early California prison gang.

          DON CARLOS MARCELLO THE "Mafia Crime Boss of New Orleans," 'The Don of the South," the guy who had JFK whacked and the 'Crime of the Century,' the 'Little Big Man,' with a short fuse and worth an easy one hundred million in real estate, slept on the bottom bunk in an open prison dorm in the back where he could get up in the middle of the night to go to the open latrines, with an old green itchy Army blanket.
                                    "Yo, 'Little Big Man,'" 
           I always hollered when I entered his Unit in the middle of the afternoon when most people were at work or on the yard.  Unless he wasn't feeling well and I got waived off by a group of guys who were with him where ever he went.  When we were seated in the chow hall they would surround us sitting at other tables in case somebody tried to run up on him, maybe trying to get
           HIS CHIEF CAPTAIN was a thirties Alabama backwoods talking smooth criminal who acted as Carlos' personal assistant.  I asked Carlos one day by gesturing to him,  "Carlos, 'Who is that?" 
          He just shook his head like it wasn't interesting enough to talk about or it wasn't any of my business.  I am just telling you how it was....
           CARLOS REALLY WANTED to know how I defrauded seventy-five banks out of two and a half million dollars with a gleam in his eyes.  He relished talking about criminal endeavors like some people like to talk Baseball.  I can't tell you the number of people who approached me to introduce them to 'The Don."  He loved the attention and I would have told him nursery rhymes if that is what he wanted to hear, but mostly about all the laws, I broke...
             THE BEST WAY to do time is to sleep through it and Carlos had this down to a science.  I always came to get him to get him to go out to the yard, sometimes in a wheelchair, it was all the way on the other end of the institution equal to walking several blocks, each way. When he first got back from Springfield we saw a lot of him then he stayed knocked out on whatever it is they were giving him.  I usually saw him in the Chow Hall once a day. 
           I KNEW BETTER than to ask him about his case, that is something you just don't do in prison, but I did it anyway.  Everybody knew his co defendant Buddy Roemer was next door at FCI Texarkana Camp and his case as the bag man for Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was all over the news.  I was surprised how confident he was that he would be going home, "Any day..." ever time I asked him.  Huh? 
         DON CARLOS MARCELLO had already been in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for three or four years and sure enough, just like he told me, the Indictment was defective.  In 1981, Don Carlos Marcello, Aubrey W. Young (a former aide to Governor John J. McKeithen), Charles E. Roemer, II (former commissioner of administration to Governor Edwin Washington Edwards), and two other men were indicted in U.S. District Court in New Orleans with conspiracy, racketeering, and mail and wire fraud in a scheme to bribe state officials to give the five men multi-million dollar insurance contracts. The charges were the result of a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe known as BriLab. U.S. District Judge Morey Sear allowed the admission of secretly-recorded conversations that he said demonstrated corruption at the highest levels of state government. Marcello and Roemer were convicted, but Young and the two others were acquitted.   I swiped them two paragraphs from wixipedia:  You can't teach and old dog new tricks but you can give him a new bone...
          DOING TIME in federal prison is the difference between The Hamilton Inn and Motel 6 compared to state prison time.  Just being whisked from the end of the country to the other alone was eye opening.  Call me stupid but when I went to prison at Twenty-nine I did not know what a Colombian looked like.  Had never known anyone from Honduras or Guatemalan or been around any Cubans.  I walked into a four or five stall, men's bathroom in prison and I am against the opposite wall standing up pissing and I see this Cuban squatting down on the toilet seat.  I thought he was hiding or laying in wait for someone.  I found out later that that is the way some of them go to the bathroom.  The shiny white sparkling clean commode was completely foreign to him...
           FROM THE FOOD to the clothing, housing and even all the staff addressed you as "Mr. Given," as opposed to the state "Given."  Every place I was had soup and salad bars with fountain Coke, Barq's, Fanta and all the whole Milk you can drink, and yes even chocolate milk....all you want.... Fruit Loop dispenser blew my fucking mind!  Smoked Oyster's and fresh Garlic and Summer Sausage.  The Fed's figured out that by treating people decently they have a lot less push back.  When the Black's rioted in the 80's and 90's see, The Crack Riot Chronicles," about it below I wrote about, they were the only ones complaining....
           IT TOOK SEVERAL weeks for The Three Dons to all come together in the Chow Hall at FCI Texarkana after my benediction by Don Joseph Fama be bending down and whispering in my ear.  From some directions, it looked like he was kissing my ring!  Every joint I been in the entire "Brass," "stand down," right when you walk in the stand back to the wall facing everyone eating.  There "Open Door Policy," where you can wake up and talk to any department head or even the warden himself.  Him and all his Captains on down but you don;t want to be seen talking to them unless you are getting out real soon.  It took me twelve years to do a ten-year sentence and by the end at FCI Marianna, Florida in 1998, I was eating in my cell because I could afford too and out of sight out of mind.  See "Cop on the Compound", below.
           DEPENDING ON HOW CLEAN your Unit is determined by a Weekly Inspection.  The dirtiest Unit ate last.  Because Carlos and defrocked Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Scarborough were in A Unites.  Me and Don Fama was in C and E Unit overlooking the rec yard.  He worked in UNICOR making office furniture you see in government offices and I saw him every day. 
           EVERY JOINT I been in I contact all the Department Heads via Inmate Request Form and respectfully inform them that the best administrative assistant with a college degree is available before I get assigned the night shift scrubbing pots and pans and kitchen floors.  AT FCI Texarkana just like nearly every place I been I had the best job on the compound. See Parchman's Farm, I went to work four nights a week from seven pm to nine-thirty cleaning the Commissary....One hundred and twenty-five dollars a month and a store discount. 
           WHEN I WAS AT FCI TEXARKANA from January 1987 to April 1990 I obtained a college degree from Texarkana College which still has vocational technical and college satellite school in the prison.  FCI Texarkana FCI Satelite Camp where Nagin's going no such opportunity is available.  I earned an Associate of Applied Science, 1300 hours AUTOCADD, 900 hours LANCADD, Practices, and Principles of Real Estate nine month course two nights a week.  Nine months HVAC and nine months Auto AC. Texarkana College still has on site college and vocational courses available.
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Register Number: 01863-055

9:09 AM 9/9/2014!/2012/06/parchmans-farm-by-mark-anthony-given.html
See also
Nagin's Surrender by Mark Anthony Given

COPYRIGHT 2014 by Mark Anthony Given
All Rights Reserved 28 USC 1746  Public Law: Pub. L. 94-553 (Oct. 19, 1976)
U.S. Statutes at Large: 90 Stat. 2541
11:04 AM 9/4/2014

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