The trial date for the alleged co-leaders of multistate cocaine ring the Black Mafia Family has been pushed back from August to November. The move will give prosecutors and defense attorneys more time to prepare for the trial, which is now scheduled to take place almost exactly two years after the alleged drug crew was indicted.
BMF earned an estimated $270 million in cocaine proceeds in less than two decades, according to federal court filings, and 41 alleged crew members ultimately were indicted on drug and money-laundering charges. The organization was birthed in Detroit, where the trial will take place, and later established central hubs in Atlanta and L.A.
Alleged BMF leader Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory, a flashy hip-hop entrepreneur, is believed to have held down the Atlanta hub, while his brother, Terry "Southwest T," allegedly manned the L.A. one. The crew's legendary presence in Atlanta – including accusations of violence that weren't addressed in the federal indictment – was the subject of a three-part series published in CL last year.
Along with the Flenorys, seven other co-defendants accused of working for them are scheduled for trial Nov. 5. The brothers face charges of running a "continuing criminal enterprise," which can carry a life sentence.
A dozen other co-defendants have pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution and other charges. Four more defendants who face only money-laundering charges – including New York jeweler to the stars Jacob "the Jeweler" Arabo and the Flenory brothers' father, Charles Flenory – will be tried separately.
The remaining 16 have neither a trial date nor a plea hearing scheduled. U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn is requiring that all guilty pleas be entered by Aug. 30.
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