Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Prison a family sentence.(Final)

Byline: Spare Change Harry Moskos Of the Journal

Albuquerquean Ann Edenfield's life resembles a roller coaster ride.

Sixteen years ago, she and her husband, Thomas, had "a dream life, a wonderful life" with a nice home in the North Valley plus another residence in Jamaica.

She was a flight attendant. He was an airline pilot. They flew together around the world.

Then it all abruptly ended.

Her husband was arrested in 1986 and later sentenced to federal prison on a charge of conspiracy to import drugs.

In an instant, Edenfield and her four young sons found themselves dropping from the top of the mountain to the bottom.

"I was penniless," explains Edenfield, who has written a book, "Family Arrested," a primer on how to cope financially, legally and emotionally with an incarceration that will turn a family's life "upside down."

"The day my husband left for prison I was financially broke," she notes. "I just did not know it. And over time my situation worsened."

Edenfield, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northern Michigan University, where she was homecoming queen, found her Continental Airlines retirement funds and bank accounts seized. She faced an IRS lien of more than $3.5 million against the family and her health insurance was canceled with her 8-month-old son having a medical condition that required oxygen. …

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