Who is Jonathan Mera?  part 3 of 4   by  Jonathan Mera

At sixteen I found out a consequence of me crossing the US-Mexico border in that fun adventure I had shared with my mother. I was fired from a dish washing job at a teriyaki restaurant because I was an illegal immigrant! I didn’t understand what this meant! What? I can’t do the right thing because I’m different? Again my insecurities took over but this time I lashed out, and robbed the restaurant I had just been fired from. I quit school because if I wasn’t going to be able to get a good job, then why bother? I continued to support myself with criminal activities, selling drugs, steeling cars, and gang banging.

At age nineteen I got the greatest gift any person can ask for. I had a beautiful baby girl on September 12th 2007. Then on October 27th of the same year I was involved in a gang related drive-by shooting, then was arrested six days later, and booked in pierce county jail with four counts of assault in the first degree, and four counts of drive-by shooting. My bail was set at $500,000. I wasn’t coming home anytime soon. I plead guilty to one count of assault in the first degree, and one count of drive-by shooting, and even though no one was hurt I was sentenced to 15 years in prison at just 20 years old.

When I got to prison I knew that I wanted better and had to change my life. I completed my G.E.D at 21. But all my insecurities, and peer pressure to fit in continued. I continued my gang activities, and breaking the rules in order to be accepted and feel safe, because in prison if you’re not the predator you become the prey. I didn’t want to be the prey.


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