Justice for Trent
Justice for Trent
Trent Bouhdida is a 28-year-old black man from Phoenix, Arizona, who is serving 16.25 years in prison for selling one ounce of marijuana. In 2020, a bill was passed in The State of Arizona, allowing residents over the age of 21 to posses, consume and transport (without renumeration) the same amount Trent is currently serving time for. Although at the time of the arrest, it was not recreational, Trent did posses a valid medical card. Trent is the father to a 6 year old son, a musician, an athlete, inspiring entrepreneur and a passionate and hardworking individual. Prior to his incarceration, he was pursing a degree in Music Business, working as a customer service representative, basketball scouting and owned a small retail business.
In 2015, while shopping at a convince store in East Phoenix, Trent was approached by an individual passing out business cards for a new pawnshop in the area. The individual who introduced himself to Trent as "Kev" was later revealed as an Undercover officer from Tempe Police Department. The two exchanged contact information and conducted several transactions such as the sale/purchase of used electronics (as one would on Facebook Marketplace or Offer Up). Overtime Trent and Kev established a reputable rapport through their common interest in business. Trent even offered to help out at the pawn shop part time to earn some extra income. Although Kevin declined, he was still persistent in conducting business with Trent.
Over the course of 3 months, Kevin continuously contacted Trent. He asked about purchasing electronics, where to find "heaters" and if he knew anybody that wanted to buy "bottles". Unbeknownst to Trent, these were code words for handguns and alcohol. Trent declined his advances. When Kev asked Trent if he knew where he could purchase marijuana, Trent referred him to a local dispensary. At the time Trent did posses a valid medical marijuana card. Kevin also had a medical card, which was expired. After presenting Trent with the expired card, he asked Trent if he could purchase a quarter ounce for him and he would pay him back. Initially Trent was hesitant, however Kev did his best to reassure Trent. He did this for him 4 times. 6 months later, Trent was barricaded in the parking lot of his employment by U.S. Marshalls with a warrant for his arrest for 4 counts of transportation and/or sale of marijuana. During trial, it was discovered that the pawnshop was a store front for an undercover sting operation to arrest people transporting stolen property. Officer Elcock was promoted to Sargent following the investigation.
Since his incarceration, Trent has worked tirelessly to learn, grow and better himself as a person. First, he has completed a 30 week drug recovery class. He volunteered to take the course in order to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to help him make better choices and improve his ways of thinking and behaving. Upon graduation of the course, he continued to attend the next group to share what he learned. He has also volunteered and completed many other courses, including parenting, anger management, domestic violence, thinking for a change, NA, AA, and workforce re-entry. Trent also attends a creative writing class once a week. While finishing up his Associates Degree in Business, he is also working as a peer to peer tutor, helping inmates obtain their GED. Trent continues to maintain a positive outlook on life and has utilized his sentence to educate himself and improve his life in every way possible.
Trent's son, TJ, his mother, Theresa, and everyone aware of his story, are devastated and heartbroken that Trent is serving such a lengthy sentence for a minor marijuana charge. While Trent is locked away separated from his family and child, the U.S. legal marijuana industry is generating billions of dollars and wealthy people are making huge profits off the sale of marijuana. According to NAACP, African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites. His case speaks to the racial disparities inherent to the United States Criminal Justice System that disproportionately arrest, charges and convicts black Americans. Trent's story is unjust and we want to do everything in our power to support him throughout his incarceration and after.
Incarcerated since May of 2017, Trent is seeking to have his sentence reduced to 6.5 years. The presumptive amount that was offered to Trent on a plea bargain prior to his guilty verdict. The signatures on this petition will be seen by the governor of Arizona. Any money raised through this petition will be sent to Trent to help with legal fees, living expenses and transportation upon his release. Your donations will provide him an opportunity to JumpStart his success and transition back into society. Even if you are unable to donate, please sign this petition and share this story with your friends, family and social media accounts. Trent's story needs to be told. Trent, his family and his community are incredibly grateful for your donations and support.
If you are interested in reaching Trent directly, you can contact him via the securus app or securustech.net. He is interested in connecting with positive purpose driven people.
Trent X. Bouhdida, #255920
Location: ASPC Tucson, Santa Rita Unit