Falling out between co-leaders of the Black Mafia Family
Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory (right) and his brother Terry "Southwest T" Flenory, who are alleged to have built the multi-state cocaine empire known as the Black Mafia Family, grew so estranged from each other in the organization's waning years that Meech's trial lawyer is now attempting to sever Meech's case from Terry's â€” and from their 39 codefendants' â€” to ensure a fair trial, according to a motion filed yesterday.
The Flenorys and more than 20 of their alleged associates are scheduled for trial in August. The federal investigation into the Black Mafia Family was the subject of a three-part CL series published last year.
Meech, a flashy Atlanta-based hip-hop entrepreneur who is legendary on the streets and associated with rappers such as Atlanta's Young Jeezy and Brooklyn's Fabolous, is charged along with his brother with running a continuing criminal enterprise â€” a federal crime that can carry a life sentence. The brothers have been jailed since October 2005 while awaiting trial in their native Detroit.
Much of BMF's criminal activity, however, took place in the organization's Atlanta hub â€” which Meech allegedly helmed â€” as well as the L.A. one allegedly manned by Southwest T. And, according to a motion filed June 20, some of that activity occurred after the brothers suffered a falling out in 2004.
"While the government did not initially acknowledge that this split occurred, they do now acknowledge it," the document states, "and many wiretapped conversations include discussions between Terry Flenory and others about the then-existing rift between Terry Flenory and Demetrius Flenory."
The document, filed by Meech's Atlanta-based lawyer Drew Findling, contests the relevance to Meech's case such evidence s federal wiretaps on Southwest T's phone. The wiretaps netted more than 900 pages of transcribed calls, but the only mention of Meech has to do with the split between the brothers, the document states.
For instance, during a July 2004 call between Southwest T and a federal inmate called "Shep," the inmate asks Southwest T how his brother is doing, to which he replies, "Losing his mind man. We donâ€™t even speak. He lost his mind."
In another call, Southwest T says of Meech, "Shit, that crazy motherfucker running around over there. He mad at me. He letting them motherfuckers put that shit in his head. He donâ€™t even know why he is mad."
Meech has not been caught on a wiretap, and the majority of witnesses described in the thousands of pages of documents filed in relation to the case incriminate only Southwest T.
However, at least four of the brothers' co-defendants have given statements to the feds, and there are other witnesses â€” including confidential informants â€” who could testify against Meech.
According to the motion filed yesterday: "At this time, much information remains unknown to this defendantâ€”such as which co-defendants will actually be tried with Demetrius Flenory, what defenses these co-defendants will present, whether these co-defendants will take the stand, and which co-defendantsâ€™ statements the government intends to introduce at trial."