owned and operated the Paddlewheel Queen, a paddleboat restaurant that cruised the intracoastal waterways along Ft. Lauderdale, FL in the 1980s. He had turned his life around after four drug violations in the 70s, primarily related to possession and distribution of marijuana. In addition to the business, he was married, had children and settled down. However, his business needed money so he sought financing from a man who was a nightclub owner in southern Florida, as well as leader of a sophisticated drug operation.
The bust came in October 1990 when Nat and 15 others were arrested, one of whom was a former Broward County Court judge. By March of the following year, all but three defendants, including Nat, had pleaded guilty in exchange of a lighter sentence. Nat would be convicted at trial with testimony that came from the leaders of the drug ring. Those who cooperated received sentences of 3 years or less. Nat, as a result of the minor offenses years before and because he did not cooperate, was sentenced to Life in prison at the age of 55 years old. Now 80, and having served over 25 years in prison, Nat is hoping to regain his freedom through the Clemency Project.In 2014, Nat was "matched" with a lawyer who "has put in the hours to review the case and recently submitted an executive summary to the Project to again screen the case for its merits of receiving clemency." The file was then "approved" for "further efforts to seek clemency" so the lawyer will "prepare a formal petition for clemency that will go to the Office of the Pardon Attorney."
The lawyer notes that "if Nat had been sentenced under today’s sentencing guidelines, he would have likely long since been out of prison." He also "has a loving family that awaits his release with open arms, and he deserves a chance to live the rest of his life as a free man.” The lawyer also notes that he has "seen over a dozen letters from his superiors and others supporting his efforts for a release. Why should he be relegated to the grips of an archaic sentencing regime that is no longer applicable?” See full article here.