The family of a conservative Florida man who spent years in prison for drug trafficking was finally able to move on from their troubled past.
The son, now 22, has finally been allowed to enter college, he has a job, and his life is looking up, his mom told ABC News.
It all started in the late 1990s when the young man’s dad, a truck driver, was convicted for possession of cocaine.
The next year, he was arrested for another drug charge.
The charges were later dropped.
“I got my life in a big hurry, so I decided to go back to jail,” the young guy said.
“I got into my car and just drove out of there.”
The young man, now 21, is now studying business administration at Florida State University.
He’s been doing so well at FSU that he is hoping to earn a degree, but he has struggled with his personal life.
He was arrested in April 2014 for assaulting his father’s girlfriend.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated battery, but the charges were eventually dropped after he spent four years in jail.
The father told ABC he never intended to hurt his son.
“He’s always been a good kid, always wanted to do what he could to help,” the father said.
But in early 2016, things took a turn for the worse.
After his father was arrested, the young teen had a hard time adjusting.
He didn’t feel comfortable with his new life.
“It was hard for him to see the world,” his mother said.
He tried to find a way to deal with his father, but his dad wouldn’t talk to him.
“His reaction to that was, ‘Well, you’re gonna need to go to the jail,'” his mother added.
“He had the right to do that, but at that time, he didn’t have the maturity to handle it.”
In early 2017, the family received an unexpected phone call.
The father’s son had been found in the trunk of a car.
The man’s name was not immediately released.
“When you have a drug trafficking conviction, you don’t get to keep your job,” the mother said, adding that the young boy did not want to get involved in the illegal drug trade.
But the father did have an idea.
The young guy went to see his father once a week, so he knew he could be safe.
When the young dad showed up at the house, the teen’s mother said she didn’t want to have to go through that again.
“There’s not a lot of other options, so we had to do something,” she said.
In May, the dad’s son got his first job in a small office building in the Tampa Bay area.
The job paid $7 an hour, and he was able to take care of his son at home.
The teen was so excited about working there that he took a job at a local store, but things didn’t go well.
The company was looking for someone to fill a job vacancy.
The boy’s dad had recently been laid off.
The young man had been laid-off before, and the company did not offer him the same opportunity.
“The company wasn’t looking for a full-time position, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen,” the mom said.
The teenager told his father that he wanted to be a trucker.
But his father said he needed to find something else to do.
So the young lad found a job in another part of town.
“We were still trying to figure out what he wanted,” the man’s mother added, “so we called the office and we were told, ‘You’ve got to go.
You’re going to need to get your life in order.'”
In December, the man learned that his father had been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for selling heroin.
The family’s lawyer was notified of the sentencing and reached out to the U.S. attorney’s office.
“All we knew was that his dad had been incarcerated for selling drugs and we needed him out of the house and into rehab,” the lawyer said.
On March 5, the father and the teen finally made it to a rehab facility in downtown Orlando.
The facility, which is located right in the middle of downtown Orlando, was filled with addicts.
The mother said the young family was able the help him through the initial phases of his recovery.
“That’s when the big thing came, when we could see that he was in recovery,” she added.
The couple now has a good relationship with the rehab center, and they both receive treatment at the facility.
They plan to have a homecoming party for the teen this summer, and have been invited to participate.
“My heart is beating so fast.
I’m like, ‘Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, thank YOU, THANK you,'” the father’s mother told ABC.
“You can’t imagine the support that we’ve been able to get, how many times we