News Release
October 30, 2008
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
Number: 404-893-7124

Ten Black Mafia Family Defendants Sentenced

OCT 30 -- (Atlanta, GA) - A federal judge has sentenced 10 of the 16 defendants indicted for their participation in the cocaine distribution activities 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.

SAC Rodney G. Benson of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “The government has successfully dismantled a violent and notorious drug trafficking organization.  The Black Mafia Family wreaked havoc from coast to coast by distributing cocaine and leaving a destructive path of violence along the way without regard for public safety. Their bold image once propelled them into the media spotlight.  Today they are again in the spotlight, this time for the right reason.  These defendants are deserving of the sentences that were handed down today. Through the concerted efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts, we were able to successfully investigate, prosecute and remove these violent criminals from the street.”

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “These sentencings help bring to a close the Justice Department’s successful dismantling of the Black Mafia Family, a coast-to-coast drug empire once so brash and powerful that it purchased freeway billboards proclaiming that the world was theirs.  Their ‘world’ – one built on illegal drugs and gun violence – has crumbled, thanks to the hard work of many law enforcement agents and prosecutors.  Now all that is left for the BMF criminals is prison time.”

The defendants sentenced yesterday and today, and their terms of incarceration, are:

•DIONNE E. BEVERLY, 36, of Hurricane, West Virginia, 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•LAMAR K. FIELDS, 40, of Atlanta, 5 years, 10 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•DERON HALL, 32, of St. Louis, Missouri, 7 years, 6 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•VICTOR D. HAMMONDS, 44, of Conyers, Georgia, 4 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•BARIMA P. McKNIGHT, 30, of Las Vegas, Nevada, 5 years, 4 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•JAMAL S. MITCHELL, 39, of East Orange, New Jersey, 5 years, 3 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•FRANKLIN D. NASH, 57, of Decatur, Georgia, 6 months to be served in a halfway house;

•DERREK Q. PITTS, 34, of East Orange, New Jersey 16 years, 8 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

•BRYANT SHAW, 28, of Atlanta 10 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release; and

•DARRYL C. TAYLOR, 48, of Rex, Georgia, 7 years, 3 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to Nahmias, court records, and other publicly-available information: The defendants 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 struck a blow against the BMF in October 2005 with multi-defendant cocaine conspiracy indictments returned in Detroit, Louisville, and Orlando.  Dozens of other defendants were subsequently arrested 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.  The lone Atlanta defendant who went to trial, FLEMING DANIELS, 36, of Roswell, Georgia, was convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.  One defendant in the case, VERNON M. COLEMAN a/k/a “Woo,” 32, of the Atlanta area, remains a fugitive.

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.  Defendant FLEMING DANIELS has been indicted in Fulton County for that murder.

DEMETRIUS FLENORY and much of the BMF fled Atlanta in late November 2004 after an expensive BMF drug stash house in northwest Atlanta was raided by Atlanta Police and DEA agents.  Although no arrests occurred at the unoccupied house, officers discovered three firearms, fictitious identifications, BMF paraphernalia, and marijuana.  They also confiscated two vehicles, including a 2003 Hummer H2 stretch limousine that was suspected to have been used by the BMF as a drug transport vehicle.  A search of the limo produced no contraband; the vehicle was later forfeited and sold at public auction. Subsequently, agents received a tip that the Hummer limousine contained concealed compartments that had not been discovered during the previous search.  In August 2008, agents re-located the limousine, which was then in the possession of its fourth innocent owner since its sale by the government in November 2005.  With federal search warrant in hand, agents again searched the limousine, finally discovering the compartments, or “traps,” and removing from them seven semi-automatic firearms and nearly $900,000 in cash, believed to be proceeds from one of the BMF's last major cocaine transactions.

DEMETRIUS FLENORY and his brother and co-leader of the BMF, TERRY LEE FLENORY, 38, were named in the cocaine and money laundering indictment issued in Detroit.  Both were convicted and sentenced last month to 30-year prison terms.

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.

SAC Benson of the DEA AFD encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at and takes you directly to the Diversion Control and Prescription Drugs link.