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Danielle Metz (1995)

Danielle Metz's life took an unexpected turn. At the age of 26, she was sentenced to three life terms due to her involvement in her husband Glen Metz's drug empire and street crew. Glen Metz was a notorious enforcer and kingpin during the late '80s and early '90s in New Orleans, operating with the Metz Gang during an era when the city was labeled the murder capital of the world.

While Glen's upbringing was rooted in poverty and shaped by his environment, Danielle hailed from a middle-class background a few miles away from the St. Thomas projects. Her parents encouraged her to pursue a career in nursing. However, the harsh realities of life in New Orleans intervened as she became a teenage single parent, lost her child's father to violence, and eventually dropped out of school. As she became more entangled in street life, fate led her to cross paths with Glen. The two fell in love and married when Danielle was just 18 years old.

Glen Metz was already a familiar figure in the St. Thomas and Calliope projects due to his involvement in street activities when he established his drug ring. Operating with his crew, he supplied over a thousand kilos of drugs, was linked to over 20 murders, and had enforcers who became notorious for driving through town in an armored pickup truck emblazoned with the word "homicide" in gold letters on the hood. Danielle became involved in the business when Glen instructed her to accompany her aunt on a trip to deliver packages to Houston.

As the criminal enterprise expanded and gained notoriety as one of New Orleans' first major crime factions, a federal indictment in the summer of 1992 named Glen, Danielle, and his enforcers. Glen was apprehended in Las Vegas, and Danielle, the final fugitive, was captured in Mississippi by federal authorities. Despite being offered a plea deal by the feds in exchange for cooperation, Danielle declined. Both she and Glen received life sentences.

After spending 23 years incarcerated at the Dublin Federal Institute in California, Danielle was granted clemency by President Obama in 2016. Her release came through changes in laws over the years, coupled with the fact that her case was non-violent. Today, in her 50s, Danielle is committed to making a difference as a Community Health Worker at the Formerly Incarcerated Transition Clinic. Her mission is to provide assistance and support to those men and women who have experienced incarceration firsthand.

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