Felon Freed by ‘First Step Act’ Arrested for Allegedly Trafficking Meth


A convicted felon who became one of the faces of the “First Step Act” law after his release from prison last year has since been re-arrested for allegedly trafficking meth in North Carolina.

Troy Powell stood behind President Donald Trump at last year’s White House ceremony celebrating the passage of the First Step Act, which has released at least 3,100 convicted felons from federal prison including at least 59 convicted killers and assailants, 239 convicted sex offenders, 960 inmates with drug convictions, 106 convicted robbers, 496 inmates with weapons and explosives convictions.

At the ceremony, Powell thanked Republican and Democrat lawmakers for their passage of the law, suggesting that there be a “second step” that releases more federal inmates. Powell had been serving a 20-year federal sentence for a 2004 drug offense.

“I’d like to say thank you to everybody here on Capitol Hill for finally getting this bill pushed through … there’s more that can be done. I left so many people behind in prison doing 40 and 50 years for nothing. I mean absolutely nothing,” Powell said. “I think there should be a second step.”

White House

About a year after his release, Powell has been arrested for his alleged part in a meth trafficking ring in Caldwell County, North Carolina, as WSOCTV.com reported. Powell was charged with possession of meth, intent to sell meth, and conspiracy after police said he and three other men were in possession of thousands of dollars worth of meth.

Powell is the latest felon released by the First Step Act to be re-arrested for additional crimes.

Last year, Breitbart News chronicled the case of 41-year-old Joel Francisco, a notorious leader of the “Almighty Latin Kings” gang, who was freed by the First Step Act and arrested months later for allegedly murdering 46-year-old Troy Pine.

Francisco was originally convicted in 2005 for dealing crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Days after his release by the First Step Act in February 2019, drug records reveal he immediately returned to using cocaine.

As Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz noted, the number of felons who have been re-arrested since their release from prison by the First Step Act is not counted. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) pushed to include a provision that would have made public the felons who went on to commit additional crimes after their release and which would have notified victims of the felon’s release from prison.

Kennedy’s provision, though, was tanked by 15 Senate Republicans who joined every Senate Democrat to vote the measure down.

Those Senate Republicans who voted against the victim-protection measure include Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Bob Corker (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Todd Young (R-IN).

Powell remains in custody on a $500,000 bail at the Caldwell County Detention Center.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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