President Obama grants clemency to two federal prisoners from Pinellas

Published May 7 2016
Updated May 7 2016

Two people from Pinellas County are among the 58 federal prisoners whose sentences were commuted this week by President Barack Obama.

Carla Yvette Holte, 52, of Largo and Joseph John Jones, 40, of Tarpon Springs were both serving sentences in excess of 20 years for convictions related to selling cocaine.

Holte was convicted in 2001 of multiple counts of conspiracy, distribution and possession of cocaine and sentenced to 21 years. Her commutation reset her release date for May 5, 2018.

Jones was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and sentenced to 20 years. He will be released Sept. 2.

The commutations are part of the president's ongoing initiative to release federal prisoners who have received severe sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. So far, the president has granted clemency to more than 300 inmates.