LOUISVILLE, KY – David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Division announced today that a member of the “Black Mafia Family” has been convicted of possession and distribution of up to 100 kilograms of cocaine by a federal jury in Louisville, Kentucky.
Toree Deneal Sims, age 36, of Louisville, Kentucky, was convicted July 21, 2011, in United States District Court, following a four day trial by a federal jury that deliberated less than two hours before reaching a unanimous verdict. Co-defendant Karen Johnson, age 39, also of Louisville was acquitted of a single charge by the same jury.
According to evidence presented at trial, Sims was a member, and the Louisville cocaine distributor for the Detroit- and Atlanta- based “Black Mafia Family” (BMF); a large-scale, cocaine trafficking and money laundering organization operating a criminal enterprise in nearly a dozen states. During 2005, the DEA coordinated a nationwide take-down of the BMF seizing more than 630 kilograms of cocaine, 14 million in U.S. currency and assets, and arresting nearly 50 BMF members and associates, including Sims, Johnson and three other individuals from the Louisville area.
The October 19, 2005, grand jury indictment from Louisville charged Sims, Johnson, Demond Ealy, Henry Gainey, Troy Lanier, and Nicole White with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. All but Sims and Johnson entered in to plea agreements with the United States. Lanier was sentenced on March 4, 2010, to 10 years in prison, followed by eight years supervised release. Lanier refused to testify at trial and was charged with civil contempt by U.S. Judge Charles R. Simpson, III. On July 26, 2011, Judge Simpson sentenced Lanier to six months federal incarceration for criminal contempt. Ealy, Gainey and White are currently awaiting sentencing.
The arrests were part of a nationwide 2-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation begun in October 2003 known as Operation Motor City Mafia. Wiretaps of founding brothers Terry and Demetrius Flenory, by DEA in Detroit led to Sims in June, 2004. Witness testimony during trial indicated that Sims received and distributed up to 100 kilos of BMF cocaine in the Louisville market.
The Flenory Brothers founded and managed the BMF cocaine trafficking organization while portraying it as the rap music label, BMF Entertainment. However, BMF Entertainment was merely a sham where drug money, according to investigators, was laundered. The Flenory brothers’ story was the subject of the History Channel’s Gangland series documentary in season seven titled Death Before Dishonor.
Sims was a fugitive for more than one year following an arrest warrant issued in October, 2005. He was twice featured on the national television program America’s Most Wanted. Tips from the program led to his arrest on March 14, 2006, in an Atlanta, GA apartment complex.
Sims is in the custody of the United States Marshal awaiting sentencing scheduled for October 25, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in United States District Court, Louisville, Kentucky before Judge Simpson. The mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years in prison followed by 10 years supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Hall and was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).