BMF's 'Meech' and 'Southwest T' get 30 years

DETROIT — Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and his brother, Terry "Southwest T," were sentenced in federal court today to 30 years in prison for running the $270 million cocaine empire the Black Mafia Family.

BMF, which had one of its two hubs in Atlanta, has been linked to some of the city’s more sensational crimes and some of its best-known rappers, including Young Jeezy. Jeezy was implicated in BMF's cocaine ring during the trial earlier this year of BMF's third-in-command. The rapper has not been charged with a crime relating to the feds' BMF investigation.

Meech, 40, and Terry, 38, pleaded guilty in November 2007 to running a continuing criminal enterprise. They’ve been locked up since their charges were unsealed in Detroit three years ago.

"I don’t think 'I’m sorry' is the right thing to say," Meech told the judge minutes before he was sentenced. “'I’m sorry' is what people say when they get caught."

The CCE charge — which is similar to a RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations case — can carry a life sentence, though the guilty pleas all but guaranteed that the brothers would serve less time. The government was pushing for 30-year sentences, though the judge indicated in November that he might be willing to go as low as the minimum 20 years. There is no parole in the federal system.

The Flenorys are among nearly 150 BMF associates who have been indicted in seven states: Georgia, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and California. The majority of those cases have been resolved — most recently, the federal trial in Atlanta of BMF’s third-in-command, Fleming “Ill” Daniels.

Daniels and several of his co-defendants, including the rapper Barima "Bleu DaVinci" McKnight, who pleaded guilty to cocaine charges, will be sentenced later this year.

More details to come at clfreshloaf.com.

(Photos courtesy of DeKalb County jail, top, and Wayne County, Mich., jail.)