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I cheated my way through high school and everybody thought that I was an honor student. I cheated my

way through college and my parents were proud that I was a college graduate. Up to that point in my life,

the two most influential books I had ever read were CRIME PAYS and THE COMPLEAT SWINDLER.

They were given to me by my father as a joke. I took them very seriously.

I had some regular jobs after graduating from college . They were boring. I loved down hill skiing and

eventually I moved to Aspen, CO in 1972. I was hired by the Snowmas at Aspen Ski Resort as recreation

director. Good job, but not good enough. There were too many guys hanging around who had money but

no apparent jobs. I wanted to know how they made their money. Cocaine was the answer. I borrowed some

money. I went to Bogota, Colombia and smuggled two kilos of cocaine in a false bottomed suit case. I

quickly found out that I couldn’t handle blow. After a couple of more trips to Colombia, I was sure there

had to be a better way to make money.

After stumbling around for a few years, I hooked up with an old WW 2 fighter pilot who had just been

released from FCI La Tuna. I helped him get a Turbo 210 Cessna. He had done 5 years for smuggling

pot. I got my pilots license in Aspen. When I delivered the plane, he told me if I ever needed anything

let him know. I immediately told him that I wanted to learn how to do what he did. He said if I was

serious, I could stay in a spare room in his house. During the day, I worked with him in his business. At

night we flew in the desert. I learned to fly 200’ above the ground in total darkness and land on six

flashlights. Iwas sweating through my cowboy boots.

I finally started flying loads and making money. The Feds and State were trying to catch us. It was like

living in the movies. They were bugging our airplanes. We were switching airplanes at the last minute. I

crashed one night in New Mexico. The plane bounced 60’. I walked out of the desert mad at God for not

letting me die. I praise The Lord for not letting me die. I crashed once in Mexico. My partner started a

fire on the end of the strip to provide more light. Wrong move. The fire obscured the runway. I landed long

and bounced 30’ in the air. There were 100 gallons of fuel in a bladder inside the plane. It was miraculous

that the plane didn’t explode I crashed but I didn’t burn and I was still making money. Next plane I used

was a Navajo Chieftain. I pressed it to the limit on this trip and I ran out of fuel at 4 AM in the middle of

the desert. By the grace of God, I was able to keep my wits about me and make a dead stick landing. I was

arrested by the Feds and finally released on my own recogiscence( incredible ) I immediately ran. I

obtained very good ID.

When it was time to go back to work in the fall, the rancher I worked with said we couldn’t land there

because he had become a born again Christian. I told him that I didn’t care what he had become, we were

going work. After arguments and threats, he agreed to 3 trips. While I was a fugitive, I used a pilot. We

flew to Mexico. For the first time, I was not able to buy product When we returned to the ranch, I told

everybody what happened. They all began praising the LORD. I told them they were crazy. The rancher

shared the gospel with me. Soon I was on my knees with tears in my eyes as I invited Jesus Christ to be

Lord of my life. The next thing I was told was that now that I was a Christian it wasn’t right for me to use a

fake ID. I was also told that I should turn myself in. I wanted to know why they didn’t tell me this before

I gave my life to the LORD. They wanted to know if it would have made a difference. It might have. The

first weekend after being born again, I was baptized in a small Pentecostal Church in Las Cruces, N M .

When we entered the church I thought I was in Mayberry. When that small group of people began to praise

the LORD, I felt like a grasshopper in the land of the giants. I was buried in the water in the name of the

Lord Jesus.

Two weeks before Christmas 1982, I turned myself in at the US Marshalls Office In Abuquerque, NM. I

walked in and told the deputy that there a warrant for my arrest. He asked me who I was. I told him and he

said I know your father and mother ,brother and sister in law. He wanted to know why I was there. I told

him because Jesus Christ lives in my heart, He said no really. I said no really. He said they had written me

off. The Feds said they knew that they they would never have caught me. It didn’t matter; God caught

me.The marshall was baptized three months later. I was taken to the BernalilloCounty Detention Center.

My brothers and sisters in the Lord gave me my first Bible. It wasn’t a study Bible; it didn’t have a

concordance. Ik you would have asked me then how many books are in the Bible I would have thought

you were trying to trick me .There is one book in the Bible, the Bible.


I had never read the Bible before. God put the fire in my heart to share the gospel of Salvation. I would

read a Psalm and share it with about six guys in my pod. I had child like faith and the Lord honored the

preaching of His Word. I immersed myself in reading the Bible. The Chaplain at the jail honored our

request for a water baptism in 3North. The day before the baptism there was an attempted jail break. The

jail was put on lockdown. The skeptics laughed at us. The Lord prevailed. At the appointed time, a horse

trough was brought to 3 North. It was filled with water and nine men were baptized. This was truly a

miracle. The jail was on lockdown. The Lord reigns.

My brothers and sisters in the Lord all wrote letters to the Judge. My parents wrote to the Judge.

Everybody told me that I would be out in six months. Somebody should have told that to the Judge.

When I was sentenced in February 1983, the judge referred to all the letters. He also told me that he had

prayed before deciding what sentence to impose. He was glad that I intended to share the Gospel while I

was in prison because I was going to have plenty of time to do it.. He sentenced me to ten years with three

years special parole which didn’t begin until the expiration of the ten. The Lord ordered all my steps . I

met Chistians every step of the way. I was designated FCI LaTuna . I looked for a service to attend.

Walking past the chapel one day, I heard the same type of praises I had heard when I was baptized. The

singing was in spanish. These guys were on fire for the Lord. By this time I had a good study Bible and A

Strongs Exhaustive Concordance. Men were being led to the Lord. God had given us favor with the prison

administration. The Pastor who had baptized me began visiting me at La Tuna. Different members of his

family would come with him. I had plenty of visits from the body of Christ.

Some of the brothers wanted to have visits with the Pastor. The chaplain said he would permit a weekly

service with the Las Cruces Pentecostal Church volunteers. He stressed the importance of them being

constant. The first service was in mid 1983. The Pastor and his wife have gone home to be with the Lord.

His son and daughter in law continue the ministry to this day. When my parents came for their first visit.

They were amazed at how relaxed I seemed to be. Locked up with Jesus obviously was better than outside

without him.
                                 Steve M.

End of Part One

Copyright © 6 Lights In The Desert. All rights reserved.

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