Meals On Wheels Executive Director, Brother Face Meth Charge - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/24/07-Tyler

Meals On Wheels Executive Director, Brother Face Meth Charge

The Executive Director of Meals On Wheels of East Texas faces a felony meth charge.  This, after he and his brother were arrested in a Mineola traffic stop.

Michael Paul Powell has run Meals On Wheels for the past 18 years, but didn't tell the agency about his arrest back on April 5th.  The board president found out only after KLTV 7 called Tuesday night.

We talked with both the board president and Powell himself, who says he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with drugs in his truck.  

"[Brother Kent] gave a false name, and I went along with him, and that was simply more out of fear.  I didn't know why he wasn't truthful with [the officer]," says Mike Powell.

Mineola Police tell us they spent twenty minutes in a traffic stop trying to find out who was the passenger in Mike Powell's pickup.

"I think sometimes your judgement is a bit clouded at the time," says Powell.

As the driver, he didn't help.  He didn't tell officers he was riding with his brother, Kent.

Finally, the officers found out the truth, and what was was in the truck.

"One of the guys came back there and said 'What about the methamphetamine under the front seat?'  I said, 'I beg your pardon?'"

Mike Powell says Kent had borrowed his truck in the days before the stop. Cops found more than four grams of "ice" and marijuana.

"I said, 'I don't know anything about that.' [to the officers]"

Mike Powell says his brother admitted to the drugs, but both were hauled in.  Kent Powell also had a warrant for his arrest for revocation of probation.

Early the next morning, Mike bonded out and didn't tell Meals On Wheels.

"I am somewhat disappointed," says Board President Tim Hunt found out when we called Tuesday night.

"You would like to be able to handle some situations like this internally, and be prepared with knowledge," Hunt says.

"[I] wanted to keep it out of the public eye, because it's obviously an embarassing thing to me it's an embarassing thing to Meals On Wheels," says Powell.

Powell says he has never used methamphetamine.  He has not been indicted yet, nor does he say he'll step down, unless he's indicted or the board acts.

"I've been there 18 years. This has been my life, essentailly.  It has you know, potentially destroyed my life at this point," he says. 

Mineola Police say there was no indication Mike Powell or his brother were under the influence of any drugs that night. 

The cases have been turned over to the district attorney's office, and police say Mike Powell still could be charged for not identifying his brother to officers. 

Meals On Wheels says this will not affect the delivery of hot meals to more than 4,000 East Texans every day.

Morgan Palmer, Reporting morganpalmer@kltv.com

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