ANDREWS, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – An Odessa woman is now free after President Donald Trump granted her clemency last week. Crystal Munoz was one of 11 people the President has used his presidential pardon power to release. Trump did not explain his decisions at length, but he has stated he relied on recommendations from others.
Munoz has served 12 and a half years in a Fort Worth prison. She was indicted in 2007, to 20 years in prison, on a drug conspiracy charge. She had drawn a map that would evade a drug checkpoint near Big Bend National Park. Months later, smugglers were caught using that path for trafficking. Munoz was then indicted three years later.
“Just knowing that my kids were out here without their mom.. Every moment I missed them,” said Munoz. “It’s been a rough road – a really rough road,” added husband Ricky Munoz.
Crystal says the most difficult reality to swallow was watching her two daughters grow up from the other side of the glass. She had just given birth to her five-month-old baby, and pregnant with her second daughter, when she was indicted. Crystal gave birth to Nova during her incarceration.
“You just try to go one moment at a time. You don’t think, because if you think, you make it harder on yourself.”
Ricky started petitioning online, gaining 104,000 signatures to bring his wife home. After being denied clemency under the Obama administration, he says they were not sure it would work under Trump’s.
“I told him, I said, under any other circumstance I would’ve believed that it was a joke, but I know it’s not. And he said ‘Nope! It’s no joke. It’s real.’”
Crystal says she is excited to help her husband expand his business and grow closer to her two teenage daughters.
“I want him to know how much he has done for me and my family,” said Crystal. “They’re already teenagers, and they’ve never had me in their lives.”
There has been a GoFundMe page created for Crystal to help her transition into her new life. Click here.