Before her 2010 arrest, Melanie Ann Reynolds sadly wasn't a candidate for Real Housewives of Orange County, though her participation certainly would have spiced up the Bravo show.
An unemployed mother of three kids, Reynolds took $900 a month in government welfare and food stamps, and supported a tooth-rotting methamphetamine addiction.
Infidelity and narcotics soiled her troubled marriage. She began dating one of her husband's cousins. The guy wasn't a step up. He is a violent white supremacist thug with Public Enemy Number One Death Squad, the drug-addled, murderous Orange County-based criminal street gang.
One day she visited a bar to help drink away her troubles and met a guy named Larry.
Using a fake name, Larry was kind and funny and so nice that he gave her kids expensive presents. He also told her that knew a quick path to cash, but the scheme was illegal.
Not realizing that Larry was an undercover federal law enforcement agent, Reynolds agreed to broker three sales totaling 333 grams of 99 percent pure methamphetamine in exchange for $300 per transaction, according to court files.
In Sept. 2010, a grand jury indicted her and authorities locked her inside the Santa Ana Jail.
Reynolds, who was born in 1972, hoped that her eventual pre-trial guilty plea would impress federal Judge James V. Selna. She pushed for a 24-month prison sentence by blaming her crimes on her awful life circumstances and noted that while in custody she found the Lord and became remorseful. She also pointed out that her kids need her at home.
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But Assistant United States Attorney Dennise Willett called Reynolds' crimes "very serious" and advocated a sentence of 87 months in prison.
This week inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, Selna declined to grant leniency. He ordered Reynolds incarcerated for 70 months. She has not yet been shipped to a federal prison.
Others involved in the drug transactions fared worse. Robin Lynn Freiwald got 151 months and Peter Suratt got 188 months.