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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Former drug dealer aims for second chance


HALLSBORO, NC (WWAY) -- Petey Powell, 38, grew up on Red Bug Road, in the small town of Hallsboro. He remembers his dad doing whatever he could to keep his family out of poverty. He was eventually lured by the money he could make in dealing drugs. Petey was just a little boy when the drug trade became a regular part of his life.

"Back then you would see the marijuana in like what you see in church, the envelope paper. I can recall very vividly how I used to see that,” Petey said.

Along with Petey's father, his two uncles and cousin ran the family business of selling marijuana and cocaine out of a barn in the back yard of his parents' home. By age 15, Petey was also selling drugs. The Powell boys, as they were called, built a reputation stretching to South Carolina. "They called it the best dope, the best drugs and we were consistent with it,” Petey said.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars would circulate through the barn every week, eventually making the drug trade a million dollar family business.

After graduating from high school, Petey's dad became addicted to heroin. Petey ended up dropping out of college to lead the family business and sell drugs full-time. "There were days when I’d make $20,000 to $30,000.”

But his high would come crashing down in May 2001. After going on the run for two years, investigators found Petey hiding out in Pennsylvania. "I knew that I had to lay down. I had to go do my time. I had to pay my debts to society."

He would spend more than 10 years in federal prison, missing out on precious time with his four kids. These days, Powell says his faith in God and love for his family have stirred a change in him. He's set to release a memoir detailing his bad life choices and his second chance. Petey hopes to leave behind a positive family legacy. "Life sometimes can be hard but any decision you make, you have to learn from that decision and stay positive, know that their dad did some negative things but he also turned his life around."

Powell will release his book “The Class President's Son” this Saturday. If you have an extraordinary person next door, email Cacky at

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Good job Mr. Powell!

Good job Mr. Powell! Continue to influence the youth.


I went to high school with Petey. He was a straight up good guy and everybody liked him. He'd speak to everyone, even the nerds. There were no drugs that I knew of in our small school, so obviously he didn't try to push them on us. I think no less of him today. Everybody makes mistakes. I'm glad he's on the right track now.

Change Is Possible

This young man embodies the message that Change Is Possible...
His book is at It's an amazing story. Keep going Mr. Powell.

i like it when someone can

i like it when someone can better themselves and show that everyone can change for the good.My hat is off to you Pete, I don't know you but i'm proud you maned up and fixed your life.

I am glad to know that you

I am glad to know that you made a change and a change that you were not ashame to mention what it was from.The change that you made and the fact that you wrote a book took courage and probably many late nights.this is just the beginning keep up the good works for you did not walk that road alone. stumbling block may try to fine the path you are reaching for but you be strong and go around,over under just don't give up for the Lord is about to make you even a more role model.Some things have already begin to let you know or make you think what is happening or what is going own. Don't you try to figure it out but let Jesus continue to work it out for you.and when it happen you will say Oh I SEE A Little More Clearer Now. And don't be afraid to drop what you may have that may not be working and take what Jesus give you. just keep an open mind and a cleran heart. Keep the Faith. Just sit back and watch Him complete what he started. 1/30/2013 by Evangelist Dorothy Smith Person Hallsboro North Carolina

Absolutely love his story he

Absolutely love his story he does a brilliant job illustrating it. The books is amazing it is a MUST read! It can be purchased at! Also be sure to participate Saturday at his book signing! Saturday, February 2! From 5pm-6pm! Location: 415 South Madison Street Whiteville North Carolina! PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT Michael Petey Powell IN HIS EFFORT TO HELP OTHERS WITH HIS STORY!!!!