Amy Povah (formerly Pofahl) has devoted most of her adult life educating the public and media about the conspiracy law because her story was the first to appear in a major, Conde Nast publication that shocked not only the public, but many politicians who had no idea that the conspiracy law was being used to sentence wives and girlfriends of drug dealers as if they, themselves, were the kingpins. Conversely, as in Amy’s case, the kingpin (Sandy Pofahl) engineered a sweetheart deal for himself by entering into a plea bargain that required “substantial assistance” and enabled him to receive only 3 years probation when he went before the same Judge Smith who sentenced Amy to 24 years 4 months based on 3 million tablets of MDMA that Sandy had manufactured.
Because Amy refused to cooperate, she was held responsible for over 3 million tablets of MDMA. She was sentenced to 24 years 5 months, and served over 9 years before President Clinton granted her clemency. It’s highly unlikely that she would have received clemency if not for the help of Oscar nominated David France, who found Amy’s case on the internet and wrote about it for Glamour magazine in ?of 1999.
Historically, Amy’s case was the first example that shed a light upon an obscure law that is still the best kept secret in the nation. The majority of federal drug cases are “conspiracy” cases that fall under ?
time that any journalist took a hard look at the conspiracy law and explained how it was being abused to hold the women of drug dealers accountable for the actions of their significant other.
In 1989, a federal task force raided the home of Amy Povah in Los Angeles, CA., looking for evidence stemming from an investigation into her husband’s illicit activity. Charles Pofahl, had been arrested eight months prior in Germany for manufacturing MDMA (Ecstasy). Charles Pofahl lived in Dallas, Texas because the couple separated in 1988.
Amy was threatened with “20 to life” is she did not “cooperate” and become a working informant that would infiltrate Pofahl’s organization. The leverage they used was “the conspiracy law,” stating that unless Amy agreed to work with them, she could be held responsible for Charles Pofahl’s entire drug operation, that involved millions of tablets of Ecstasy that had been sold by a large network of people that Pofahl had, for the most prat, shielded Amy from. Amy refused and 2 years later, was indicted, taken in shackles to Waco, Texas, held in a county jail for 1 year without bail, prosecuted, and sentenced to 24 years and 5 months for over 3 million tablets that Pofahl was responsible for manufacturing and distributing.
While in custody in Germany, Pofahl cut a deal and incriminated everyone in his entire network, including Amy who he’d ask to collect bail money on his behalf