February 12, 2014
By Phil Bean
Barry Cooper and a federal prosecutor joined forces to free a 57-year-old man after serving 15 years of a 30-year prison sentence for possessing a baggie of marijuana seeds. After exhausting all legal appeals, Dalton Wilson, a model prisoner who earned a psychology degree while behind bars, contacted Barry Cooper for help with his legal battle against the state of Texas. After investigating his case, Barry Cooper and NeverGetBusted published the article “We Taught That Ni&&er A Lesson” laying out Wilson’s unlawful arrest in 1996 by federal agents in Texas which was followed by an unfair conviction handed down by a racist jury.
Dalton Wilson had three young sons ages 7, 9, and 11 when he started his three-decades-long sentence. While their dad was behind bars, they did not forget about him. As the boys grew older, they started showing a talent for music and they even incorporated their dad’s story into their songs.
The eldest son, Shomari, manages the recordings, and Husani the middle child provides the microphone skills. They have become a popular local rap crew and their most popular tracks are about their dad featuring lyrics like this “I watched my mama cry for me and broke…my dad in the fed pen jumpsuit I use to watch the front door and hope my daddy come through.”
The youngest son, Adisa, who has been a non-stop advocate for his father’s freedom, was the one that set into motion the events that would eventually free Dalton Wilson. After all of Wilson’s appeals had been exhausted, Adisa was visiting his father in prison when he came across an article in Maxim Magazine that featured Barry Cooper and his crusade for those wrongfully imprisoned because of draconian drug laws. Adisa showed the article to his dad who instructed Adisa to contact Barry Cooper right away and ask for help.
(Dalton’s son endlessly carried a “Ninja Turtle” bag containing over 10 pounds of legal documents pertaining to his father’s incarceration)
In January 2013, Barry Cooper published Wilson’s story requesting legal assistance and asking the audience to telephone the judge presiding over the case with pleas to release Dalton Wilson who had already served 15 years of a 30-year sentence.
Renowned lawyer, Jeff Steinborn, who sits on the board of directors for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) answered Barry Cooper’s request for legal assistance and agreed to review the mound of legal documents relating to the Wilson case at no charge.
In March 2013, Steinborn contacted Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jay Miller, who agreed Wilson’s sentence was drastic and unfair. Miller collaborated with Steinborn and together they outlined a legal strategy to free Wilson.
(Washington attorney, Brandon Rain, legal expert, Tracee Tomich and famous lawyer, Jeff Steinborn, donated their services to free Dalton Wilson)
In September 2013, Mr. Steinborn’s wife fell ill so Texas lawyer and President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Bobby Mims, was tapped on the shoulder to travel to West Texas for Mr. Wilson’s new hearing. Although Mr. Mims agreed to work for no charge, travel expenses needed to be covered so NeverGetBusted fans were asked to help fund Mim’s travel. Within hours, seven-hundred and fifty dollars were raised to get Mr. Mims to West Texas.
The donations from Barry Cooper’s fans were not in vain as a federal judge, Robert Junell sided with Dalton Wilson and his defense team signing the order for Wilson’s immediate release.
In December 2013, after fifteen years of living in a cage, fifteen years of strip searches, fifteen years of no privacy, and fifteen years of no physical contact with loved ones, Wilson stepped off the airplane in Jamaica a free man and into the arms of his family.