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Money Rock: A cocaine dealer's redemption
Pam Kelley first met Belton Platt in 1986, when he was a cocky young cocaine dealer named Money Rock. Last year, they reconnected. This is his story.

By Pam Kelley | Diedra Laird

On many Sunday nights, you’ll find Pastor Belton Platt at Redeemer in Mission for Christ Church in west Charlotte. There, he stands before worshippers, Bible in hand, preaching with such passion that he’s sometimes hoarse by the final amen.

Many listening from the pews are hurting, beaten down by heartbreak, hard times and bad decisions. He urges them not to give up. If Belton Lamont Platt can transform himself, anyone can.

Platt was the cocaine dealer named Money Rock.

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PART 2 -- SECOND CHANCES
2nd chance leads to wealth, danger

Money Rock’s jury took only a few hours to return a verdict: guilty on all charges. Judge Joseph Pachnowski took even less time to decide on a 35-year sentence.

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PART 3 -- ONE MORE DEAL AND THEN JAIL
One more sale, as FBI watches

The buy went without a hitch. Money Rock had stopped dealing weeks earlier. He says he had resolved to become a legitimate businessman. But then a cousin got charged in a drug case and asked – repeatedly – that Money Rock buy him a half-kilo of cocaine so he could sell it to get money for a lawyer.

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PART 4 -- REMAKING HIMSELF IN JAIL
In prison, Money Rock remakes himself

The man who no longer wanted to be Money Rock was 26 years old when he landed in Atlanta’s federal prison in 1990.

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PART 5 -- A REBIRTH
A rebirth, a new mission

Belton Platt’s life has come full circle. About a year ago, he returned to Grier Heights, where he once sold cocaine, to speak at an anti-violence rally.

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PART 6 -- FAMILY REPERCUSSIONS
When Platt went to prison, his children got a sentence, too

Pastor Belton Platt is a hugger. At an evening service last year, he hugged one visitor after another at west Charlotte’s Redeemer in Mission for Christ Church. Then he hugged his son, Lamont Platt, who had come to hear his father preach.

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