Friday, December 19, 2008

Senior "Black Mafia Family" Member Sentenced in Cocaine Distribution Case

A federal judge on December 17 sentenced FLEMING "ILL" DANIELS, 35, of Roswell, to 20 years in federal prison for his conviction for conspiring to distribute cocaine with other members of the "Black Mafia Family" ("BMF"), a violent drug gang that has been the focus of federal prosecution in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Louisville, Orlando, and elsewhere around the United States. DANIELS was also ordered to serve 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "This defendant--someone with multiple prior drug and firearms convictions -- typifies what was so alarming about the Black Mafia Family, a criminal organization that combined drug dealing with gun violence. This sentence will prevent Daniels from returning for many years to the wayward and dangerous lifestyle that the BMF celebrated."

DEA Special Agent In Charge Rodney G. Benson said of the sentencing, "The distribution of dangerous drugs and associated gun violence are a recipe for disaster. This lifestyle will land you serious prison time or it may cost you your life. The sentence imposed upon this defendant is appropriate for the crimes that he committed."

According to Nahmias and other information presented in court: DANIELS and his co-conspirators were members or associates of the Black Mafia Family, a nationwide gang that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine during 2002-2005. Federal authorities first moved against the BMF in October 2005 with multi-defendant cocaine conspiracy indictments in Detroit, Louisville, and Orlando. Dozens of other defendants were subsequently charged as a result of related BMF investigations in Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Greenville, South Carolina. In the Atlanta case, 16 defendants were indicted in July 2007. DANIELS was the only Atlanta defendant to go to trial to date; 11 of his co-defendants have entered guilty pleas. The jury that convicted DANIELS found that he was personally responsible for distributing over 50 kilograms of cocaine, drugs with a street value in excess of $1,000,000. One defendant in the case, VERNON M. COLEMAN, a/k/a "Wu," 32, of Atlanta, remains a fugitive. The other three co-defendants are in custody but have not yet resolved their cases.

The evidence showed that at its peak during 2003-2004, the BMF was moving hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into Atlanta, Detroit, and other distribution hubs every month. The drugs would arrive in vehicles - often limousines - with secret compartments or "traps." These same trap vehicles would then be filled with cash (the proceeds from drug sales) to be sent back to the Mexican sources of supply.

Along with these massive amounts of cocaine, the BMF brought violence to the streets of Atlanta. In one incident, Rashannibal Drummond, 23, was beaten, shot and killed in the parking lot of the Midtown club Velvet Room during the early morning hours of July 25, 2004. The murder was the culmination of a one-sided brawl that was alleged to have been precipitated when the unarmed Drummond slapped one of the BMF's prized luxury vehicles to alert its driver not to back over him. FLEMING DANIELS has been indicted in Fulton County for that murder and is awaiting trial.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at

This case was investigated by Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by the United States Marshals Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force; the Tennessee Department of Safety; the Atlanta Police Department; the DeKalb County Police Department; and the Henry County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Cassandra Schansman and Robert McBurney prosecuted the case.

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