As career paths go, drug dealing is perhaps the ultimate high-risk, high-reward way to go. To some extent, though, it seems to have worked out well for Demetrius Flenory, who is otherwise known as Big Meech. The reputed cofounder of the Black Mafia Family, Big Meech’s net worth is estimated to be $100 million.
But money isn’t everything, as the saying goes, and Big Meech definitely wasn’t living large back in 2005, when he was arrested and pled guilty to money laundering and drug trafficking and given a sentence of 30 years. Big Meech’s sentence was recently reduced by three years by a US District judge, though, which means he’ll supposedly be back on the streets in 2028.
So how did we get here, and what were the particulars of his journey to the top of the drug trade?
To some extent, it sounds like a typical kingpin story. Big Meech was born in 1968 to a supposedly religious family, but it seems fairly clear in hindsight that they considered the drug laws outside the purview of their creed. Meech and his brother, Terry Lee “Southwest T” Flenory began selling cocaine on the streets early on, and “success” of a sort quickly followed.
They dropped out of school to grow their business, and soon they were selling increasingly large amounts of coke. They founded the Black Mafia Family in 1989, distributing sales across the country while using Atlanta and Los Angeles as their main hubs.
Shockingly, hip hop soon became part of the family business when they needed to launder money. Big Meech founded BMF Entertainment in the early 2000s, and while most of its activities have been suspect, the company did promote a couple of well-known rappers. Young Jeezy and Fabolous.
Even more shockingly, their high-on-the-hog lifestyle soon drew the attention of the DEA, which was how they got pinched under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute. Once the investigation got rolling it proved hard to stop, and over a thousand members of the drug trafficking operation were identified along the way. Some are likely in prison, while others remain on the loose. Flip a coin.
Hard as it is to believe, Big Meech is reputed to be a married man. His wife, who wisely hid her identity, started a petition to have his sentence reduced shortly after he was arrested, but that petition went nowhere fast. Meech also has a relationship with a girl named Sabrina Peterson, and she gave an interview about her erstwhile boyfriend.
The sentence reduction came after his “family” petitioned for a compassionate release during the pandemic, but the judge didn’t buy into that possibility. Instead, he knocked a few years off, thus proving that he is possibly a man of true compassion and virtue.
Whether Big Meech actually gets to spend any of his hard-earned, ill-gotten gains remains to be seen. He had three cars when he was arrested, one a Bentley, and jewelry that was worth close to a million dollars. It’s hard not to imagine a major forfeiture operation not being a significant part of his future, and it’s even harder to imagine it not being very costly indeed.