May 4, 2020 – Black Mafia Family co-founder Terry (Southwest T) Flenory was released early from prison Monday morning. The gangster gods shined brightly in Southwest T’s direction last week when he was granted sentence-relief and ordered to be let loose 6 years earlier than expected.
The 50-year old Flenory and his more well-known older brother, Demetrius (Big Meech) Flenory, were convicted in 2007 of leading the “BMF,” the biggest urban cocaine empire in American history and its most iconic and culturally relevant. BMF made hundreds of millions of dollars and established franchises around the country, embedding itself in hip-hop and underworld lore alike for its defining of New Millennium boss status in the drug game. Both Flenorys pleaded guilty and received 30-year prison sentences from U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn in their hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Less than two years ago, Cohn granted Southwest T an official sentence reduction, moving up his out-date from 2032 all the way to August 2026. The fact that he was a non-violent offender already 15 years into his sentence in the era of COVID-19 clearly played to his advantage in shaving another six years off his term. He’s expected to return to Detroit Wednesday to serve the remainder of his time on home confinement with family.
Big Meech, 51, is currently locked up in a federal prison in Oregon and isn’t scheduled for release until October 2031. He is name-checked often in hip-hop tracks and a staple reference in the drug-dealer inspired Trap Rap genre.
The ambitious, well-connected Flenory brothers started BMF in Detroit in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade, Big Meech was living in Atlanta and Southwest T was located in Los Angeles. Together, they oversaw 23 strategically-placed satellite crews in different city centers coast-to-coast and took over a sizable chunk of the nation’s coke market with diplomacy and acumen instead of force.
Big Meech was the charming and decadent face of the organization, hobnobbing with celebrities, rappers and pro athletes, leaning into the role of new-era drug don, in contrast to his baby bro Southwest T who was more low-key and deliberate in his movements on the west coast. Southwest T ran the BMF homebase in Detroit remotely from his mansion in California through a cadre of “capos” and childhood friends back in Motown.
The feds finally brought the Flenorys and their highly-structured drug kingdom down in October 2005 with the historic Operation Motor City bust, charging 50 BMF leaders and associates with running a continual criminal enterprise the likes and scope of which the DEA had never seen before. Everyone from the landmark case, besides Big Meech and his third-in-command Fleming (ILL) Daniels, have been released. Daniels, 47, is serving time for a separate murder case in a Georgia state prison.
At the end of their reign on the street as bi-coastal kingpins, Big Meech and Southwest T were no longer on speaking terms and only communicated through BMF “CFO” William (Doc) Marshall. It was Marshall’s decision to cooperate with the government that ultimately forced the Flenorys’ hand in copping pleas on the morning their trial was supposed to begin in November 2007. The Flenorys got into a verbal spat in a closed-door meeting in the judge’s chambers that same morning. According to sources, Big Meech and Southwest T have since mended fences and repaired their relationship.
Rapper and actor 50 Cent is producing a television series on the rise and fall of BMF for Starz, where 50 Cent was behind the hit show Power for the last five years. Power scribe Randy Huggins, a native Detroiter, will be the showrunner for the upcoming BMF show.