A four-year federal law enforcement investigation into organized crime in Missouri has resulted in the arrests of nearly three dozen people either belonging to or affiliated with one of the most notorious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations in the U.S., according to the Department of Justice.
Thirty-four members and associates of the Black Mafia Family (BMF) were indicted this week in St. Louis, an area where federal law enforcement officials claim the suspects were “distributing large quantities of narcotics” and laundering money.
A press release from the DOJ claims that BMF’s alleged “Junior Boss” incriminated himself and the organization after Chad Brown “discussed drug trafficking by the BMF in multiple videos posted on various social media platforms.”
Brown, 51, was indicted on one count of bank fraud and one count of using a false writing or document for allegedly submitting a fraudulent IRS Schedule C form to obtain a PPP loan.
Much of the other charges other alleged BMF members and associates face are related to drugs, including allegations of distributing fentanyl, a mixture containing methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.
“Anytime we are able to dismantle an organization involved in selling the big four – fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine – it’s a big deal,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael A. Davis, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration division that leads DEA investigations in Missouri, Kansas, and Southern Illinois, said in a statement. “The scale of this Midwest criminal operation is uncommon, so it’s no wonder that it took the combined resources of federal, state and local law enforcement to bring the operation to an end. Protecting our citizens is DEA’s primary goal and the reward is worth the effort.”
BMF’s name recognition has soared in recent years after a cable crime drama of the same name debuted.
BMF’s founders – brothers Terry “Southwest T” Flenory and Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory – were previously sentenced to decades in federal prison for running the largest cocaine distribution operation in the United States.
Together, the Flenory brothers ran BMF for decades until their arrest in 2007, raking in an alleged $270 million in a cocaine ring with hubs in Atlanta and Los Angeles and distribution points across the country, including Birmingham, Alabama, Miami, Detroit and, of course, St. Louis.
Big Meech and Southwest T led the Black Mafia Family and its illegal drug organization starting in Detroit and lasting from the 1980s to the early 2000s.
The fictionalized STARZ series based on the Flenory brothers’ lives was quickly renewed for a second season after only two episodes. Season 3 is expected to be released in March.
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