WASHINGTON - Tony Lewis Jr. has waited a long time for this day.
He's spent years advocating for his father to be released from prison – holding rallies, getting petitions signed, and asking President Biden to transform the country's clemency program to reunite families like his own.
Tony Lewis Sr. has served over three decades in prison for his role in one of the largest, most notorious crack-cocaine crime rings in the region. Convicted of being part of a 29-person conspiracy in 1989, the D.C. drug kingpin was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
On Monday, Lewis Jr. drove with his family to 14601 Burbridge Road SE in Cumberland, Maryland and picked his father up from the Federal Correctional Institution.
His daughters held a sign that read, "Welcome Home Tony, Sr." as they waited to reunite with their Poppop. Another sign included a bible verse, "Who the son set free is free indeed."
Lewis Jr. previously told FOX 5 that he was around 9 years old when his father was sentenced. He's 42 years old now.
On Instagram, the community leader shared photos of his dad surrounded by loved ones, smiling from ear to ear. The emotion oozes out of one filtered photo as the father and son embrace in a hug they've dreamed of for nearly a lifetime. "TONY LEWIS FREE," the caption reads. The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed with FOX 5 that Lewis Sr. was released from FCI Cumberland on Monday via good conduct time.
"Thanks for every prayer, every showing of support for us during this tumultuous journey," Lewis Jr. wrote on Instagram. "We did it."
He thanked his father's attorney, Brittany K. Barnett, as well — calling her an "angel of freedom" and "Harriet Tubman" for helping to bring him home.
"Thank you Tony Lewis Jr. for trusting me and allowing me to walk beside you on this journey. It was an honor," Barnett wrote on Instagram. "For 34 years, you stood by your father's side. you never wavered in your belief that your dad would one day be free from a life w/o parole sentence handed down under America's Draconian drug laws. Your dedication to your father's freedom was UNPARALLELED."
Barnett said that her motion requesting Lewis Sr. be released early was denied in 2021 near Thanksgiving. A clemency petition was filed soon after, but no luck.
Barnett tried again in 2022, and on Friday a D.C. judge granted her motion.
FOX 5 reached out to Lewis Jr. for a statement, but we're told he just wants to spend time with his dad tonight.