2008's Biggest Stories #8: The Fall Of The BMF
lived the life most rappers only fantasize about in the booth. For
nearly five years, the Black Mafia Family flaunted their lavish
lifestyle, barely covering up the illegal activities that afforded them
year, an unraveling that started in 2005 came to a close. Demetrius
"Big Meech" Flenory and his brother Terry "Southwest T" Flenory were
sentenced to 30 years in prison for their role as the leaders of a
cocaine empire valued at nearly $270 million. Their sentence came a
year after the brothers pleaded guilty to Continuing Criminal
Enterprise and money laundering charges under which they were indicted
a plea agreement, prosecutors obtained the long sentence by presenting
evidence of BMF's 20 year history, gathered over the course of several
brothers, who launched their enterprise in Detroit in the late 1980s,
started drawing the attention of federal authorities around 2000, after
Southwest T relocated to Los Angeles, leaving Big Meech in Atlanta.
Their prolific organization drew even more unwanted attention in 2003,
when Meech established BMF Entertainment and began living a life that
did not fit that of an up-and-coming record executive with only one
artist, Bleu DaVinci, signed to his label.
make matters worse, Meech was tied to a 2003 shootout outside an
Atlanta-area nightclub, which left two men dead, including Sean "Diddy"
Combs' former bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones.
Just as they spread the wealth in their hay day, the Flenory brothers did not go down alone.
the 2005 raids of BMF's key operations in Georgia, Michigan, Florida,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and California, over 150 members or
associates of the Black Mafia Family were indicted.
Three notable members of the organizations also saw sentences handed down this year.
"The Jeweler" Arabov, indicted in 2006, was sentenced in June to two
and a half years in prison. Arabov admitted to falsifying records and
giving false statements to federal prosecutors, in exchange for the
dismissal of more serious money laundering charges. He was ordered to
pay a $500,000 fine and to make a $2 million forfeiture payment to the
DaVinci was sentenced to five years and four months in federal prison
back in October, after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute
cocaine. The rapper, born Barima McKnight, was also suspected of having
taken control of BMF's operations while Big Meech and Southwest T
awaited their sentences.
most recent sentencing came on December 17. Fleming "Ill" Daniels was
ordered to serve 20 years for conspiring to distribute cocaine.
Prosecutors maintained that Daniels was personally responsible for the
sale of nearly $1 million worth of cocaine. His trial made headlines
over the summer, when a prosecution witnessed alleged that Jeezy
received kilos of cocaine from BMF.
boasting of his affiliation to the crew during his early career, Jeezy
has managed to steer clear of their legal troubles.
When they are released from prison in 2031, Big Meech and Southwest T will be in their 60s.