Black Mafia Family underboss Chad (J-Bo) Brown was recently released from serving over a decade behind bars. The affable 46-year old Brown, the second-in-charge of the monolithic BMF, did 11 years in prison on racketeering, narcotics and money-laundering convictions.

Brown was placed in a halfway house last fall after spending the majority of his prison stint in a low-security facility in Arkansas. He’s been free since the spring and is reportedly residing in Missouri.

Ruling the nation’s wholesale cocaine trade in the late 1990s and early 2000s, BMF built itself into the most prolific and culturally-significant urban drug-trafficking network in American history. In the course of a three-year federal investigation, the IRS estimated that the multi-state organization cleared close to $300,000,000 in illicit profit.

Besides BMF founders, Demetrius (Big Meech) Flenory and Terry (Southwest T) Flenory, who based their operations in Atlanta and Los Angeles, respectively, there was nobody in BMF circles more powerful than the St. Louis born-and-bred Brown. Brown’s nickname, “J-Bo” is short for junior boss.

The Flenorys brothers started BMF in their hometown of Detroit in the 1990s, rapidly branching off into satellite regimes across the country. According to court records, Brown was the Flenorys’ point man for all drug distribution routes.

Rapper Young Jeezy, the Godfather of trap music, released a song in Brown’s honor titled J-Bo in November 2015. Per testimony in a 2008 federal drug and racketeering trial, a BMF turncoat testified he was present when Brown gave Young Jeezy (real name: Jay Jenkins) five kilos of coke to sell at a palatial Atlanta estate being used as a BMF stash house. In a 2011 freestyle rap, Young Jeezy disses Miami rap don Rick Ross for mentioning doing business with Brown years earlier.

The end of the line for Brown and the Flenorys came in October 2005 when the feds dropped the sprawling Operation Motor City Mafia indictment ensnaring 60 members and associates of the transcontinental urban drug cartel. Brown and the two Flenory brothers each pled guilty in the case. While Brown was sentenced to 15 years, both Flenorys got nailed with 30-year terms.

Since his incarceration 13 years ago, Big Meech Flenory, 49, has practically reached mythical status in hip hop and pop-culture spheres, seeing dozens of name-checks and shout outs by numerous iconic rappers in songs, social media posts and interviews with the press. Brown got locked up in February 2007 following being caught violating bond restrictions by getting arrested in St. Louis upon getting pulled over in a car with a pound of marijuana and a loaded pistol. He pled out in his case two months later.

Rapper and actor 50 Cent is in the midst of developing a scripted television series surrounding BMF’s exploits in the drug game. BMF lieutenant Chauncey (C-Bear) Johnson, a friend of the Flenorys from childhood in Detroit, was released from prison in the summer of 2015 and announced his intention of rebranding the BMF empire, pushing it away street activity and towards more corporate, commercial and philanthropic endeavors.

“J-Bo is just happy to be home, he’s not about the game anymore, he’s about enjoying what he’s missed,” said one Brown contemporary who has spoken to him in the past few months.

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