Black Mafia Family leader 'Big Meech' gets prison break in Detroit drug case

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A federal judge Monday cut three years off the prison sentence of convicted Black Mafia Family cocaine kingpin Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory.

The move by U.S. District Judge David Lawson means Flenory likely will be released in 2028, a small victory following years of failed attempts to leave prison on compassionate grounds. Flenory, 52, is serving a 30-year sentence at an Oregon prison for running one of the largest drug trafficking and money laundering rings in Detroit history. 

Flenory was entitled to a reduction because of changes in sentencing guidelines since he was convicted, the judge wrote.

Black Mafia Family drug kingpin Demetrius "Big Meech" on the cover of The JUICE Magazine, which he co-owned.

Flenory deserved a break because he earned his GED while incarcerated, underwent drug treatment and completed classes, his lawyer Brittany Barnett wrote in a court filing.

"He has demonstrated strong commitment to rehabilitation during his incarceration," Barnett wrote. "Mr. Flenory, who has not been convicted of a crime of violence, does not have an assaultive or violent criminal record."

The Black Mafia Family drug ring hauled money and cocaine in custom-built stretch limousines.

The native of southwest Detroit headed a national drug ring with brother Terry Flenory that reaped $270 million in profits, employed more than 500 people and distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine. The drug ring operated in cities in 11 states, including Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Birmingham, Alabama. 

The Atlanta hub alone distributed 2,500 kilos each month.

Terry Flenory was released on home confinement last year as part of a broader effort by officials to stem the spread of COVID-19 that, according to federal prison data, has killed at least 242 inmates and staff, and infected more than 51,000.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents toppled the cocaine empire in 2005 by arresting the brothers along with more than 100 co-conspirators. Investigators seized $21 million worth of assets, including cash; jewelry; 13 homes in Metro Detroit, Georgia and Los Angeles; and three dozen vehicles, including a Lincoln limousine.

Cash seized during the Black Mafia Family investigation

Demetrius Flenory laundered money through his rap label and promotions business, BMF Entertainment, and co-owned JUICE Magazine. BMF Entertainment takes credit for helping launch the career of the rapper Jeezy.

"Big Meech" has drawn support from celebrities and rappers. Rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, who is developing a series about the Black Mafia Family, praised the judge's order Monday on Instagram.

Twitter: @robertsnellnews