MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - A Memphis family at the center of a presidential order is making national headlines.
President Donald Trump commuted Alice Marie Johnson federal life sentence, and she was released from a federal prison in Alabama Wednesday. The Memphis native was serving a life sentence on drug charges.
The move came, after reality TV star and social media mogul Kim Kardashian brought Johnson's plight to President Donald Trump.
Upon her release, the 63-year-old grandmother was overcome with emotion as she was met with family.
"I'm feeling no handcuffs, I can hug my family. I'm free to start over. This is the greatest day of my life," said Johnson.
Surrounded by family and news crews, Johnson thanked God and President Trump for her release. She also recalled the moment she found out her life sentence was over.
"Then I heard Kim Kardashian's voice and she was the one who told me that it had happened, that I was free, that I was going to re-join my family," said Johnson.
Kardashian sent out a series of tweets Wednesday.
One tweet read:
"The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget."
Another tweet thanked the Trump administration for their help. Kardashian also tweeted that she hoped to continue this work with organizations who have been fighting this fight for a long time.
Johnson served 21 years of a life sentence for her role in a cocaine distribution ring. It was her first offense.
The White House said Johnson accepted responsibility and has been a model prisoner, serving as a mentor to inmates.
"She went against all odds, and she made the best out of a bad situation," said Ray Shawn Johnson.
Ray Shawn Johnson is Johnson's nephew and a pastor at Spirit Church in Olive Branch, Mississippi. He said her kids never gave up hope or their fight for their mother.
He said he heard the news through a family group text.
"She gets another chance and I just really feel that this is not the last we'll hear of Alice Johnson. She will be known throughout the country. I think she's going to do big things behind this. She has a purpose behind this pain," said Johnson.
He said he is ready to welcome his aunt home.
Johnson is expected to return to Memphis by Thursday morning.
Previously, Johnson made three requests for a pardon during President Barack Obama's time in office. CNN reported the Justice Department denied her petition because prosecutors maintained Johnson was tied to a violent drug cartel.