The Black Mafia Family (BMF), an infamous and once far-reaching criminal organization, remains operational, even as its iconic leaders, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, are incarcerated. In a significant crackdown this week, St. Louis has become the epicenter of a law enforcement operation, leading to the arrest of over two dozen individuals linked to the notorious BMF.
The Flenory brothers, known for their leadership roles within BMF, built an empire that generated more than $250 million, spanning various parts of the United States, with Detroit as its hub. However, their extensive drug-trafficking network ultimately led to their downfall, resulting in imprisonment in 2008.
Despite the absence of its original leaders, the BMF has maintained its influence in the criminal underworld. This enduring presence has not only caught the attention of law enforcement but has also provided inspiration for entertainment. 50 Cent, the rapper and producer, is one of those who saw potential in BMF’s story, leading to the creation of the BMF series on Starz.
As news of the latest arrests related to BMF surfaced, 50 Cent took to Instagram, writing, “BMF again ain’t this a b****. J BO story is a spin-off I’m a put it on the tube you know the vibes.” This suggests that the recent arrests are not just a law enforcement victory but also an opportunity to further explore the world of BMF and its members.
The recent operation in St. Louis was orchestrated by U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. It resulted in the arrest of more than two dozen individuals associated with BMF. These arrests were made based on various charges, including drug trafficking and complex financial crimes. The crackdown was the culmination of substantial collaboration between U.S. Marshals, federal agents, and local law enforcement, all acting on grand jury indictments. In total, 34 individuals have been implicated, with a significant number facing recent charges. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was taken aback by the size and scope of this incarnation of the BMF, highlighting the scale of this Midwest criminal operation.
The law enforcement efforts also yielded significant seizures, including substantial amounts of fentanyl, methamphetamine, firearms, and cash. Individuals who were arrested have been either directly affiliated with BMF or closely associated with the organization. One defendant, Chad “JBo” Brown, has been particularly vocal about his connection to BMF, even referring to himself as the “Junior Boss” of the organization. His claims, supported by various social media videos, provide insight into the group’s extensive drug trafficking activities.
However, the criminal activities attributed to BMF go beyond drug trafficking. U.S. Attorney Fleming emphasized instances where members of the organization were involved in money laundering. Shockingly, some of them reportedly exploited the COVID-19 pandemic, obtaining loans under false pretenses that were originally intended to assist struggling businesses and employees.
Among those indicted were Chad E. “JBo” Brown (51) – charged with bank fraud and using a false document for fraudulently obtaining a PPP loan. Robert L. Lewis (45) – facing charges for fentanyl distribution and illegal firearm possession. Robert “Honest” Sims (40) – indicted for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Samir Simpson-Bey (37) – charged with fentanyl distribution. Jeremy “Welo” Steele (44) – indicted for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine. Carl Von Garrett (53) – charged with money laundering, allegedly laundering nearly $1,000,000 of drug proceeds in 2021. Tiffany J. “Tiff BMF” Nelson (42) – indicted for money laundering, accused of laundering proceeds from illegal activities.
The recent wave of arrests in St. Louis underscores the enduring influence and complex operations of the Black Mafia Family. While its original leaders may have been incarcerated, the organization remains a significant force in the criminal underworld, prompting both law enforcement action and the interest of entertainment industry figures like 50 Cent. The ongoing saga of BMF serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by authorities in their ongoing efforts to dismantle powerful criminal organizations.
Derek Chan – Editor