East met west in Motown’s New Millennium narcotics scene. Throw in a little “YBI” and they built themselves a powerhouse.

According to sources, as it rose through the Midwest underworld in the 2000s, Detroit’s Johnson Brothers Gang, the area’s most prominent Westside drug organization of the day, did business with remnants of the Motor City’s murderous Best Friends Gang, the bloodthirsty crack-era drug and enforcement crew founded on the city’s Eastside. The Johnson boys also got a boost through affiliations to certain ex-Young Boys, Incorporated members, per sources. During their reign four decades ago, “YBI” represented the Westside as well.

The Johnson brothers themselves – Jake (The Snake) Johnson and Jason (Twin-Jay) Johnson – have been in the local news as of late, reaching the top of the Detroit FBI’s Most Wanted List. Their gang sprouted up in the early 2000s and was fast to rise to the forefront of the Detroit dope game.

Snake Johnson has been on the run from the law since 2004. Twin-Jay’s fugitive status is going on a year — he was indicted in 2016. The twin 39-year old siblings, per sources, used contacts that were former Best Friends in growing their drug empire.

Started by the four Brown brothers – Terrance (Boogaloo) Brown, Reggie (Rocking Reg) Brown, Gregory (Ghost) Brown and Ezra (Wizard) Brown – in the mid-1980s, the Best Friends organization was dismantled via a federal drug, racketeering and murder indictment that dropped in 1992. Boogaloo, Ghost and Wizard were all killed gangland style. Rocking Reg is doing life in prison. Authorities estimate the Best Friends were responsible for more than 100 homicides.

The more iconic and business-savvy YBI ruled the Detroit heroin market from the late 1970s into the early portion of the 1980s. YBI founder Milton (Butch) Jones is serving a life sentence behind bars for drug and murder activity he engaged in after YBI was extinct. One of Jones’ former lieutenants, Darryl Terrell, is set to go to trial on cocaine-trafficking conspiracy and money laundering charges next month.

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