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ON SPRINSIDE RUN
THE DRIVEWAY: Both Gucci Mane's former attorney, Dennis Scheib, and his current one, Ash Joshi, told CL that a neighbor on Springside Run -- a man who owned the rental house where the stripper lived -- saw the men walking up the driveway. "I hired an investigator, and the investigator found this one man who was cutting some hedges," Scheib told CL. "And he sees [the men] pull up in a van, get out, rush in the door. And he hears somebody yell or something, and they have a struggle in there. And he hears a shot, and he sees them come out. I brought him to the DA's office, and he made a statement." According to Joshi: "I know the gentleman who called the police was very forthcoming. He lives next door but also owns the house where this occurred."
MEETING FOXY: The website SOHH.com was the first to report the Gucci-Foxy meeting. Gucci's attorneys, Scheib and Joshi, confirmed the meeting to CL. "One of the things that I believe he was interested in was having her take one of his CDs to whatever strip joint it was," Joshi said. "He was in large part interested in getting that in her hands. Apparently, they (strippers) can request music when they're on the main stage."
JEEZY AND "ICY": A) Gucci's attorney, Joshi, told CL that the two rappers and their labels were fighting over the rights to "Icy": "Personalities got involved," he said. "It escalated to more, but this was at its heart a financial dispute which has resolved itself." B) Gucci described the history of "Icy" in the July 2005 AllHipHop.com interview: "[I] had a song I [sic] written on called, 'Icy,' so I brought it to [Jeezy]. ... I kept on with the song like, 'Let's work on this song right here, it would be tight.' So I paid Jeezy to get on the song, paid [one of his associates] to get on the song and than [sic] after that, it just turned into a big hit." C) Neither Jeezy's publicist, Island Def Jam's Gabriel Tesoreiro, nor his attorney, Janice Singer, returned CL's phone calls.
THE INVASION: Gucci's former attorney, Scheib, told CL that the men who came to the house had weapons. "One of them hit [Gucci] in the head. It was something wrapped up. He thought it was brass knuckles. They came in with duct tape, too. ... They pulled out a gun, and they had tape. And they pointed a weapon either at him or his friend, and he just wasn't going to wait until they started shooting." When asked about the alleged intruders' weapons, Gucci's current attorney, Joshi, replied, "Certainly brass knuckles. Certainly guns ... and some drawn."
POOKIE'S RUN: Gucci's former attorney, Scheib, says of the five men: "They came in and out. They were really quick." According to his current attorney, Joshi: "The neighbor reported a home invasion. So the police were en route. They passed the guy who was shot. But he ran into some woods in an effort to hide from police. He was by himself at that point." Regarding the lyrics, the third member of Loccish Lifestyle told CL that they aren't as eerie as they might seem to an outsider. "I could go through some stuff now and probably find [lyrics] a little stranger than that right there," says Carlos "Low Down" Rhodes.
THE DEAL WITH CTE: Low Down described Jeezy's offer during an interview with CL. Low Down said in reference to Jeezy, "He was saying we was the best thing around here, so he was going to go ahead and jump on it before all the other people get a chance." Loccish Lifestyle's manager, Tarence Bivins, told CL, "It was known around here that they was supposedly looking at us. We had a little buzz going locally, in the Middle Georgia area. But me speaking from a manager standpoint, they never just said, 'We're going to meet ... you on whatever-whatever day.'"
FINDING POOKIE: A DeKalb County Police incident report dated May 13, 2005, describes how police got a call from a Columbia Middle School resource officer who "advised that she was notified by 4 black males that their friend identified as Mr. Henry Lee Clark was in the wood line dead." It said the resource officer "took [the DeKalb Police officer] into the wood line where I observed a black male dressed in all black, with a white Braves cap lying next to his body. The body appeared to be stiff, and had flies on it." Police interviewed one of the four witnesses, Shannon Lundy, who said that "they were staying at the Marriott Courtyard downtown when Mr. Clark went missing." According to the report, "He further advised that while at a video shoot in the West End he heard about a shooting on Springside Run. Mr. Lundy stated that Mr. Clark knew a [sic] unknown female who lives at ... Springside Run. Mr. Lundy further advised that they just came to the area and started looking through the wood line and discovered the body." The report also lists Demetrius Ellerbee as both a witness and complainant.
SIGHTS ON BMF
JEEZY'S DENIAL: According to a May 31, 2005, AJC article, "Young Jeezy told listeners on [V-103 radio show host Frank] Ski's morning show last week that he had nothing to do with the shooting." In a May 25, 2005 article, Jeezy's attorney, Singer, said Jeezy wasn't involved.
GUCCI'S CHARGE: Gucci's murder charges were dropped Dec. 30, 2005. His attorney, Joshi, told CL, "I don't really believe there's more evidence out there that everyone has yet to find. At the end of the day, it seems like the witnesses are fairly clear that this was a home invasion."
BMF'S ALLEGED ROLE: When asked about the claims of BMF's alleged involvement in the Gucci Mane incident, Meech's attorney, Drew Findling, told CL, "The only thing that I'm focused on is defending Demetrius Flenory. BMF is not my interest. I'm not going to sit and address BMF, and the convenience of referencing it by defense attorneys." Findling declined to make Meech available for an interview or to solicit a written statement from Meech for this article.
BMF'S REACH: Documents filed in October 2005 in a federal case out of Detroit state: "Terry Lee Flenory and Demetrius Edward Flenory, by the early l990s, had established a drug organization which was dealing in kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Detroit metropolitan area. By the mid 1990s, the organization was extended into other areas of the United States including St. Louis, Mo., Los Angeles, Calif., and Atlanta, Ga. ... Between approximately 2001 and 2003, Terry Lee Flenory and Demetrius Edward Flenory began to refer to their activities as being part of an entity they called 'Black Mafia Family' [BMF]." At a January hearing in the Detroit case, DEA Special Agent Bob Bell testified, "At times over a thousand kilograms at a time would come into the country but ... multiple 100 kilograms of cocaine would be distributed around the country, sometimes monthly." Bell also told the court that the organization had "expanded in size and scope out to St. Louis and into Atlanta and Los Angeles. At one point primarily Demetrius Flenory resided and worked out of the Atlanta area and Terry Flenory out of the Los Angeles, California, area."
MEECH'S MURDER CHARGE
THE WITNESS: A) The 911 call was described in an Atlanta Police incident report and a Nov. 26, 2003, hearing in Fulton County Superior Court. B) According to court documents filed Nov. 26, 2003, by Meech's attorney, Findling, "[O]n the eve of the preliminary hearing all the defense [team] has been provided with and all the court will be presented with to make its probable cause determination is uncorroborated info from an unknown witness whom the state does not intend to call to testify. ... [D]efense counsel respectfully demands that this witness be produced and put to the test of cross-examination." C) Findling later told CL: "There was this unnamed person. There was ... no evidence that there was anybody accompanying her to corroborate her presence there. The whole thing was just comical."
THE BOND: According to Fulton County Sheriff's Department records, Meech was released from the jail on a $50,000 bond on Dec. 1, 2003. According to court records and Meech's attorney, most of the conditions of his bond were removed less than six months later. "The standards of his bond was relaxed and the [ankle] monitor was removed because of the way in which he was conducting himself while out on bond," Findling says.
THE WARRANT: A) According to a supplement filed with the Atlanta Police report on the Buckhead shootings, a warrant was executed Nov. 17, 2003, at a house on Belair Lake Road in Lithonia. "The location is the known residence of Demetrius Flenory," the document states. "Flenory has been a drug target since 1997." In reference to the shootings six days earlier, the report states, "Atlanta Police Homicide Investigators were able to ... determine there were other weapons used that were not recovered on the scene. It was reasonably believed that one of these weapons [handguns] may be stored inside the targeted location. ... [F]orced entry was made into [t]he residence." B) At a January 2006 hearing in relation to the October 2005 federal case in Detroit, DEA agent Bell testified that the warrant turned up "records connected to Demetrius Flenory, Terry Flenory and others in the organization." C) And according to documents filed in the October 2005 federal case, "On November 17, 2003, a Georgia state search warrant was executed at this residence. Police seized a significant amount of records that ultimately were linked to the Flenory Organization and drug trafficking activity."
JABARI IN THE RV: The details of Jabari Hayes' April 11, 2004, traffic stop were described in documents filed in October 2005 and May 2006 in the federal case in Detroit.
JABARI IN THE TOWN CAR: Details of Jabari's March 16, 2004, stop were described in the October 2005 documents filed in Detroit.
SMURF AND BOWLEGS: An October 2004 affidavit filed in Fulton County Superior Court describes the Sept. 14, 2004, conversation between Rafael "Smurf" Allison and "Bowlegs": "RAFAEL ALLISON received a call from an unidentified male, known only as 'BOWLEGS,' inquiring if ALLISON had any cocaine. ALLISON advised the individual that he would call his 'folks' and ask if they had any. At 8:29 p.m., RAFAEL ALLISON once again dialed DECARLO HOSKINS' cellular telephone and asked HOSKINS if 'everything was everything?' HOSKINS responded, 'yeah, everything is still everything.' Your affiant believes this to be a drug slang for whether the source had the same cocaine to sell at the same price. ... During the course of the evening, ALLISON and BOWLEGS discussed the price of the cocaine and ALLISON advised BOWLEGS that the cocaine was worth it because his supplier 'don't play like that.'"
DECARLO'S DELIVERY: Details of the alleged deal between Decarlo and the three men in the Nissan Altima were described in the October 2004 affidavit and in investigators' surveillance notes filed in a June 2005 case in Fulton County Superior Court.
DECARLO TALKS: A) According to documents filed in the June 2005 Fulton County case, a confidential informant told HIDTA agents on Oct. 13, 2004, that he "knew of Black Mafia Family Members [BMF] selling large quantities of cocaine [kilograms] around the Boulevard ... area." The informant also said he "is able to contact ... two of the BMF Members by phone and possibly arrange a cocaine deal" and that he "had purchase[d] kilograms of cocaine several times in the past year from the two brothers Jeffery and Omari." B) In an Aug. 23, 2005, letter to the Fulton district attorney's office, Decarlo's attorney asked, "Please contact the State Department of Corrections and the State Pardons and Parole Board so that my client will not be housed with Omari McCree since Mr. McCree knows that my client had cooperated against him and was a state witness." C) According to the October 2004 affidavit filed in Fulton County, Decarlo "advised agents that the cocaine supplied to, and recovered from, [the men in the Altima] was supplied by the McCREE BROTHERS. HOSKINS further advised that he grew up with the McCREES on Boulevard in Atlanta." Regarding Omari's reaction to the phone call from Decarlo, the affidavit states, "OMARI McCREE appeared to know that HOSKINS was in custody and would not speak with him."
INVESTIGATORS MEET: The spring 2004 meeting at the Atlanta Police Department was described to CL by former Fulton prosecutor Rand Cshey, who headed the district attorney's office's BMF investigation at the time. He said the meeting included investigators with the district attorney's office, police department, HIDTA, the DEA and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
THE ATRIUM SHOOTING: A) According to documents filed in the June 2005 Fulton County case, warrants were later issued for both Jeffery and Omari on aggravated assault charges out of DeKalb County. B) According to documents filed in relation to an August 2005 case in DeKalb County Superior Court: "Between the dates of October 15th-17th, 2004, a rash of incidents occurred at both area nightclubs and strip clubs in Dekalb [sic] County, Georgia. These incidents included a shooting at the Jazzy T's strip club ... where two victims suffered gunshot wounds. The other incident occurred at the Atrium nightclub located at 5479 Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain." C) Conversations captured wiretap investigation conducted in Fulton County also address the shooting.
THE ROADBLOCK: According to documents filed in the August 2005 DeKalb County case, the roadblock was put up due to two recent shootings: "As a result of these incidents, an initiative was set up involving several units within the Dekalb [sic] County Police department. ... Due to these incidents occurring during the early morning hours, a safety checkpoint was put together at the intersection of East Ponce De Leon Avenue and Dekalb [sic] Industrial Way." Regarding Meech and his crew, the documents state: "Patrons were observed leaving the Pin Ups adult club at approximately 0430 hours. This adult nightclub was located within close proximity to the safety checkpoint. At approximately 0450 hours, a black Dodge Magnum was observed approaching the checkpoint. ... As ... uniform[ed] officer C.L. Hill approached the vehicle and began conversing with the driver, later identified as Hamza Hewitt, Hill detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. All three occupants of the vehicle were asked to step outside. ... Marijuana residue was ... located inside the vehicle. All three subjects were then placed under arrest for loitering for drugs."
MEECH'S ARREST: According to the documents filed in the August 2005 DeKalb County case, Meech gave officers at the roadblock a Tennessee's driver's license with the name Ricardo Santos. "He was asked if that was his real name. He replied it was. ... Further investigation revealed Santos' real name to be Demetrius Flenory." The documents also state that a sergeant "recognized Demetrius Flenory through an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper where Demetrius Flenory's picture appeared concerning a shooting at an Atlanta area nightclub." The documents also state that after Meech was taken to DeKalb Police headquarters, he was observed "urinating on the walls an[d] on the interview room table." According to a detective's statement, "I ... looked into the observation window. ... I observed as the male subject urinated along the back of the room and walked up towards the door while sill urinating on the floor."
THE WIRETAPS: A) Former Fulton County prosecutor Rand Csehy, who headed the BMF investigation for that office, told CL that HIDTA agents spent "hundreds of hours" poring over the information gathered from the wiretaps on Omari's phone. B) At a Feb. 13, 2006, hearing in relation to the June 2005 case in Fulton County, Csehy told the court: "During the wiretaps, it was learned that Mr. McCree and Mr. Leahr were members, distributors of cocaine, for the organization known as the Black Mafia Family or BMF headed by Demetirus Flinnery [sic] and receiving orders ... from him with regard to distribution of cocaine." C) In the wiretapped conversations, Omari and those who called him spoke of several BMF members with whom investigators were familiar, including high-ranking BMF affiliate Chad "J-Bo" Brown ("J-Bo just called," Omari was heard saying. "I'm gonna try and get this shit together."), the rapper Bleu DaVinci, and Bleu's little brother, Marque "Baby Blue" Dixson ("I didn't forget the other day," Meech's alleged assistant told Omari. "He was just wrapped up into the Baby Blue stuff"). D) At a July 2006 hearing in relation to the October 2005 federal case out of Detroit, assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Leibson described J-Bo's position within BMF the following way: "Mr. Brown was one of the higher ranking members of the organization."
MEECH'S ASSISTANT: Meech's alleged assistant has been named in investigators' surveillance notes, affidavits and other court documents. In a January 2006 hearing in relation to the October 2005 federal case out of Detroit, DEA agent Bell testified: "I believe there are some calls from the Fulton County state wiretap [in which] the target phone was held by a female ... who calls herself Meech's assistant, and where she is conducting narcotic type traffic over the phone or conversations over the phone. There were multiple kilos seized as a result of that case and at times she refers to the boss, you know, in relation to Demetrius." Due to the fact that the woman was not charged with a crime, and that CL couldn't locate her or her attorney, CL decided not to use her name in these articles.
OMARI'S RANK: Meech's alleged assistant repeatedly told Omari he was favored by Meech. Investigators heard her making the following statements to Omari on his wiretapped phone: "I have the conversations with Dude, and I know certain things that he think of you," "You are kinda like me, but you're on a way bigger level than me," "When it's still all said and done, you still ... get the thumbs up as far as my boss [and] as far as your work ethic," and "I just see you and him [Meech] bein' the same kind of people, and I think people in the family see that also."
THE ELEVATOR: According to former Fulton County prosecutor Csehy, investigators surveilling Omari and Jeffery were never able to determine the exact whereabouts of "the elevator," though Csehy said he and others suspected that it was a Buckhead high-rise.
THE SURVEILLANCE: According to a HIDTA surveillance log filed in the June 2005 Fulton County case, task-force agents had been camped out in front of Omari's Saxon Valley Circle home for more than five hours when they heard over the wiretap on Oct. 23, 2004, that he was leaving to meet Meech at "the elevator." According to an entry timed at 1 a.m., an agent "observed OMARI McCREE come out of the front door of his residence, walk to the garage, and enter the garage through the garage door. McCREE then pulled from the garage in a Porsche Cayenne SUV. ... [The agent] began to follow McCree. ... Due to the high rates of speed that McCREE was traveling, [the agent] was not able to continue the surveillance, and lost visual sight of McCREE near Roswell Rd."
PREPARING FOR THE WORST
THE BLACK TRUCK: On his wiretapped phone, Omari was heard providing the license plate number of the truck he'd been noticing in front of his house. "She gonna see if she can pull it," the woman on the line told him. "She said she gonna call you back."
THE CHASE: According to surveillance notes filed in the June 2005 Fulton County case, HIDTA agents saw Courtney's cab arrive at Jeffery and Omari's house at 5:25 p.m. Courtney left in a white Cadillac SRX 10 minutes later, followed moments later by Jeffery in the silver Porsche Cayenne. The document states that Jeffery "began making evasive maneuvers and driving at different rates of speed. The surveillance team lost site [sic] of [Jeffery] at Spring Street and North Avenue after he ran a red light." The document also states that the other team followed Courtney "as she pulled into a gated condominium complex located at 375 Highland Avenue. ... Approximately ten minutes later, [an agent] observed [Jeffery] pull into the same complex."
THE BUST: A) At a Jan. 20, 2006, hearing in relation to the June 2005 Fulton County case, then-prosecutor Csehy testified: "A couple of days prior to November 5th, 2004, multiple kilos of cocaine were removed from the house in which Jeffery Leahr and Omari McCree were living, and they were transported to Ms. [Courtney] Williams' apartment with her permission. She was out of town at the time, but when she came back in town, [Jeffery] asked if they could continue to keep the cocaine -- or what they refer to as clothes or dry cleaning -- at her house." B) At a Feb. 13, 2006, hearing in the same case, Csehy told the court, "On November 5th, Ms. Williams ... was supposed to be picked up by Mr. [Jeffery] Leahr at the airport. She eventually took a cab to his house. They had previously moved cocaine, Mr. Leahr did, from his house [that he] shared with Mr. McCree to Ms. Williams's apartment over off Highland." C) Investigators' surveillance notes filed in the case state that the Atlanta Police officers "observed an open duffle bag in the backseat of the Porsche ... and observed wrapped black packages that appeared to be kilograms of suspected cocaine. ... [An agent] also seized a U.S. passport and a Georgia driver's license, belonging to Omari McCree, from inside the backseat of the Porsche Cayenne." The notes state that an agent then asked Courtney if she would agree to a search of her apartment. "No other illegal contraband was found in the apartment." Jeffery and Courtney were then "photographed and released." D) According to Csehy's testimony Jan. 20, Jeffery and Courtney were released in an attempt to gather more information on BMF over the wiretaps.
DEBT TO BMF: At a Feb. 13, 2006, hearing in the June 2005 Fulton County case, Csehy told the court: "Actually, Mr. [Jeffery] Leahr was owing BMF. ... They put him up in a house. They provided all the cars, and that cocaine was on what they call a front. So ... when Mr. [Omari] McCree and him went on the run, they actually owed BMF more money than they had on them. They were broke."
DEATH OF A WITNESS: A) A law enforcement source speaking to CL on the condition of anonymity said Ulysses Hackett was considering turning state's witness against his nine co-defendants, including Tremayne Graham, when he was shot to death in bed on Sept. 5, 2004. B) Hackett was killed, along with his girlfriend, Misty Carter, in her apartment located at 375 Highland Ave., according to Atlanta Police. C) According to documents filed in the June 2005 case in Fulton County, Courtney Williams also lived in the apartment complex at 375 Highland.
TREMAYNE'S ARREST: A) According to a statement from the California Attorney General's Office, Graham was arrested on June 16, 2005, after disappearing in late October 2004 while out on bond in a drug conspiracy case. The statement said Graham had been living in a "stash house" in Woodland Hills where authorities found $1.8 million and 250 kilos of cocaine, which is worth about $25 million on the street. B) An October 2005 federal case out of Detroit linked the cash and drugs seized at the Woodland Hills home to BMF. C) The U.S. Marshal's Service issued a press release shortly after Graham's capture that stated: "During surveillance in Van Nuys, CA, ... investigators observed a man matching Graham's description driving a black 2005 Volvo. Investigators were able to positively identify Graham as he exited his vehicle and entered a Subway sandwich shop in Van Nuys. A short time later, Graham ... attempted to reenter his vehicle. At that time, his vehicle was blocked; he was surrounded and then arrested."
QUESTIONS FOR GUCCI: Jacob York, co-owner of Big Cat Records, which had signed Gucci, was quoted July 25, 2005, in AllHipHop.com saying, "The whole arrest [of Gucci in Miami] was a set up by the 'Hip-Hop Task Force' in Miami to incriminate Gucci and get evidence on other artists. We were detained for one day ... all because they stated that Gucci had a warrant in Atlanta, Georgia. But we were arrested by the ATF, DEA and the FBI. Since when do any of them execute state level warrants?" York was not available for comment, and fellow Big Cat owner Mel Breeden did not return CL's calls. When asked about the questioning in Miami, Gucci's attorney, Joshi, told CL: "I'll tell you this, there was law enforcement that was always interested in BMF throughout all this, and Mr. Davis remained outside that issue." When asked about Gucci's response to the questions, Joshi said, "He didn't know and just, again, remained outside the issue."
OMARI REAPPEARS: An Atlanta Police report states that Omari was detained June 8, 2005, on the 600 block of Boulevard, and was taken to the Atlanta HIDTA office in Midtown. Then-prosecutor Cshey told CL about passing Omari on the street and not recognizing him.
OMARI TALKS: According to documents filed in the June 2005 Fulton County case, a HIDTA agent and an Atlanta Police detective debriefed Omari at the HIDTA office shortly after his arrest on June 8, 2005. "Omari McCree advised ... that he wanted to talk with his attorney. [The HIDTA agent] allowed Omari McCree to make several phone calls, however McCree only received a voice mail after each call. [The agent] first advised Omari McCree that he was being charged with Trafficking Cocaine that was seized from his brother Jeffery Leahr and Courtney Williams. [The agent] advised Omari McCree that DeKalb County has an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Omari McCree volunteered ... that Jeffery Leahr is not his brother, people just think we are. [The agent] asked McCree if he is wiling to speak with [him]. Omare McCre [sic] agreed to talk. ... [The agent] advised Omari McCree that if he co-operated with police that the prosecutor and any other need to know party would be advised of his co-operation. [The agent] presented McCree with a confidential source agreement form and had McCree ... read and initial each paragraph. ... [The agent] began the questioning."
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