News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2007
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

16 Members of Notorious Black Mafia Family Charged in Cocaine Distribution
Violence Was This Group's Trademark

JUL 26 -- Atlanta, GA – In an indictment unsealed today, charges were announced against 16 members of the Black Mafia Family, a violent cocaine distribution organization that has been the focus of federal prosecution here in Atlanta, in Detroit, and in Orlando.  Seven of the 16 defendants were arrested today.  The names of 7 of the remaining 9 defendants remain under seal because they are still being sought by law enforcement.

SAC Rodney G. Benson of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented, “The government is one step closer to eradicating one of today’s most violent and notorious drug trafficking organizations. The Black Mafia Family wreaked havoc from coast to coast by distributing cocaine and leaving a destructive path of violence along the way. Their bold image and in your face reputation once propelled them into the media spotlight. Today, we are proud to cast an ominous cloud over this once-thriving criminal network. I want to thank our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts who aided in making this investigation a success.”

“The Black Mafia Family once had billboards towering over Atlanta boldly proclaiming that the world was theirs.  This indictment is a rejection of that claim.  First in Detroit and Orlando, and now here, the government is shutting down the BMF’s once-flourishing drug empire.  A combined effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement has brought to an end an infamous chapter of drug dealing and gang violence that affected this country literally coast to coast,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias.

The defendants arrested today are: DIONNE BEVERLY, 35, of Hurricane, West Virginia; RAMON DOBSON, 27, of Lithonia; LAMAR FIELDS, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia; VICTOR HAMMONDS, 42, of Conyers, Georgia; JAMAL MITCHELL, 38, of East Orange, New Jersey; FRANKLIN NASH, 56, of Decatur, Georgia; and DARRYL TAYLOR, 46, of Stockbridge, Georgia.  Already in custody in other jurisdictions are co-defendants FLEMING DANIELS, 34, of Roswell, Georgia, and DERREK PITTS, 33, of Newark, New Jersey.

The defendants arrested in Georgia had their initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman.  DOBSON and NASH were released on a $25,000 secured bond.  TAYLOR was detained.  Detention hearings for HAMMONDS and FIELDS have been scheduled for Friday, July 27, 2007, at 2 p.m. before Judge Baverman.

The indictment charges all defendants with participating in the overall cocaine distribution conspiracy.  Several defendants are also charged with specific instances of drug distribution.  The conspiracy charge carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum term of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $4,000,000. 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 Tennessee Department of Safety; and officers from the Atlanta Police Department; the DeKalb County Police Department; and the Henry County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Cassandra Schansman and Robert McBurney are prosecuting the case.

DEA Atlanta Field Division SAC Rodney G. Benson strongly encourages parents and children to educate themselves about the dangers of drug abuse by visiting DEA's interactive website by visiting www.justhinktwice.com

For further information please contact Special Agent Chuvalo J. Truesdell, the Public Information Officer of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is www.dea.gov

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