USP Lewisburg - Men convicted of combined charges that involved: Racketeering (RICO), attempted murders, assaults, extortion, loansharking, narcotics dealing, kidnappings, counterfeiting, armed bank robberies, and over two dozen murders.
Mark (3rd from right) is the only one in this picture who was a non-violent first-time offender, yet he had the longest sentence of everyone in the photo.
What's wrong with this picture?
For a few brief months in 1996, Mark got involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Mark is guilty of his crime; he's the first to say so. But there is a bigger issue here... one of justice. Like many others who are caught up in the federal prison system, Mark is stuck with a disproportionate sentence for the drug crime that he was convicted of. Disparity in sentencing is rampant for those who do not agree to cooperate in their federal criminal case. There is no better example of this reality than Mark and the factual background that led to his horrendous prison sentence.
Mark is currently an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, PA ("FCI" Loretto). He has served 14 years of a 30-year sentence as a non-violent, first-time offender for conspiracy to manufacture 1kg or more of methamphetamine. He was one of 10 defendants (plus an additional 10 unindicted co-conspirators) in the case, the rest of whom pled guilty and/or cooperated. All of his co-defendants received sentences averaging 5 1/2 years (some got no time at all). Mark refused to testify against his co-defendants, and his attorney manipulated him into going to trial rather than pleading out. As a result, Mark was initially sentenced to three life sentences with no chance of parole.
Despite the fact that Mark is a non-violent, first-time offender (unlike all of his co-defendants), his life sentence dictated that he be placed at a high security federal penitentiary. Mark was designated to United States Penitentiary (USP) Lewisburg, PA – one of the oldest and most dangerous penitentiaries in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There is no parole or earned good time; “Life” in the Federal Prison System means “until you die!”. Fortunately, although bittersweet, in 2006, after several appeals, Mark’s life sentence was reduced to 30 years. As a result, Mark has been able to move down in custody levels and is no longer at a USP. He is now serving his time at a low custody FCI. Mark is scheduled to be released from prison on December 16, 2026.
Throughout the duration of Mark's case, his attorney received non-cooperation plea offers from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but Mark’s attorney chose to not share them with him. The government’s final offer was for 10 years, his minimum mandatory sentence. Why was this purposely withheld?
Mark accepts responsibility for his actions, and he has repeatedly expressed remorse. Ironically, he was the only defendant in the case to voluntarily leave the conspiracy (three years prior to actually being arrested/indicted), yet he received the longest sentence as a direct result of his attorney’s actions. Mark is the only defendant in his case still in prison.
Mark has been a model prisoner and has used the past 14 years constructively. Aside from continuously researching law and battling his length of sentence, he has taken more than three dozen Adult Continuing Education courses. Mark also completed an intensive two-year correspondence course for a career diploma and certification as a dog obedience trainer/instructor specializing in assistance dogs and animal assistance therapy. He plans to volunteer his services in this field when he is released from prison.
Please take a look at the website, read the background, and help any way you can. Thank you for your time!
-Family & Friends of Mark Lanzilotti
We, the family and friends of Mark Lanzilotti, want the public to know about Mark and his case. We hope to clearly explain, educate, and inform you about the human cost of our government's draconian drug laws. Mark has become collateral damage in the outdated, overstated, and excessively punished war on drugs.