Black Mafia Family is on trial in Atlanta.
Fleming "Ill" Daniels has been described by witnesses in court papers as BMF's third-in-command under the organization's co-leader, Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory. Daniels is being tried on federal cocaine conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court. He also has been indicted in Fulton County for the 2004 murder of Rashannibal "Prince" Drummond in the parking lot of Midtown's now-defunct Velvet Room. That case has not yet made it to trial.
During opening statements this morning, assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney described Daniels' alleged role in the BMF enterprise, which is believed to have trafficked $270 million in cocaine across the country from two main hubs. BMF's Atlanta hub was headed by "Big Meech" Flenory. Its other hub, in L.A., was controlled by his estranged brother, Terry "Southwest T" Flenory. In November 2007, the Flenory brothers pleaded guilty to running a continuing criminal enterprise in a related indictment out of Detroit.
McBurney told the jury that the government's case against Daniels would rely in part on co-defendants who pleaded guilty in exchange for a possibly lesser sentence. Eleven of Daniels' 15 co-defendants pleaded guilty, most of them on Monday. The rest remain fugitives. Among the guilty pleas was the rapper Barima "Bleu DaVinci" McKnight, who did not agree to cooperate with the feds.
"You will hear from a convicted murder," McBurney said. "You will hear from drug dealers. These are people who were on the inside."
Daniel's attorney, Dennis O'Brien, said during his opening that the evidence would show that his client merely acted as security for the BMF entourage, which was highly visible in the Atlanta club scene.
"He provided security and support for multiple entertainers," O'Brien said of Daniels. "You don't become a criminal just because you associate with bad people."
The trial is expected to last less than a week.
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