June 10, 2020 – The blueprint for what Black Mafia Family became was inspired by a number of people in the Flenory brothers’ past, as well as another pair of equally visionary crews from their hometown. “BMF” rose from humble beginnings in Detroit in the late 1980s and early 1990s to dominate the American cocaine trade in the New Millennium with satellite outfits set up in nearly half of the 50 states and by sheer will and ingenuity force it’s way to the forefront of hip-hop culture and the drug game simultaneously nationwide.
Demetrius (Big Meech) Flenory, 51, is awaiting word from U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson if he will be granted a compassionate release amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. His younger brother, Terry (Southwest T) Flenory, 50, was sprung six years early via a compassionate release last month and is on home confinement in Michigan.
The Flenorys were busted and their groundbreaking drug organization dismantled courtesy of the DEA’s epic Operation Motor City Mafia case in October 2005. They both pleaded guilty two years later and received 30-year prison sentences.
Southwest T got six years shaved off his sentence in 2018. If Judge Lawson doesn’t let Big Meech out on his current motion, he won’t be slated for release until late 2031.
Several rap stars, L.L. Cool J, T.I., Fabulous and 50 Cent, among them, have campaigned for Big Meech’s release for years, citing his status as a non-violent offender despite his enormous notoriety as an iconic crime lord, name-checked in countless tracks trending on streaming platforms. 50 Cent is producing a scripted television show on the rise and fall of the Flenorys and their BMF empire for the Starz cable network.
In 1986, Big Meech and Southwest T joined the 50 Boys gang and were mentored by 50 Boys boss, Edrick (E.D.) Boyd, who claimed territory on the near southwest side of Detroit. Per DEA records, the Flenorys set up and ran 50 Boys blocks in the area and helped Boyd establish new turf in the hardscrabble, assembly-line suburbs of Ecorse, Willow Run, River Rouge and Inkster.
Boyd was schooled in the dope game by former Young Boys, Incorporated lieutenant Norman (Sneed) Johnson, according to his DEA file. “YBI” controlled the Motown heroin industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s from the city’s Westside, using elementary school-aged kids and their playgrounds to peddle their exquisitely marketed dope. Johnson was slain in February 1984 as fissures in the YBI leadership structure broke into violence.
When Big Meech and Southwest T went off on their own in 1990 to form what eventually turned into BMF, they locked down a “plug” with Southwest Detroit drug boss Rodolfo (Bolo) Moreno-Ponce, per DEA records. Most of Southwest Detroit is run by Latino gangs and Moreno-Ponce and his Bolo Boys crew had raken over much of the city’s cocaine trade in the early 1990s.
The Flenorys were also taking counsel from the old Davis Family Gang, which had a reign from 1974 until 1984 and touched four different continents around the world, per sources. The DEA called the DFG the most sophisticated and internationally-connected drug ring in American history. Big Meech communicated with DFG bosses Reggie (Doc) Davis and Duane (Skinny D) Davis in prison and picked their brains for inspiration.
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