News and Press Releases

Drug Trafficker Craig Petties pleads Guilty to Racketeering
Conspiracy and other Related Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2011

Memphis, Tenn. – Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced today that United States District Court Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr., has unsealed the entry of a plea by Craig Petties to numerous counts of an indictment charging him with racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities to commit murder for hire, and various drug and money laundering crimes. Petties pled guilty in December 2009, at which time the Court ordered the plea sealed. The Court today unsealed docket entries reflecting Petties’ plea.

Petties pled guilty to the following counts, which are set out in the Sixth Superseding Indictment in his case:

    • Count One, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), which carries a potential penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Two, violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, specifically the murder of Mario McNeal on March 16, 2007, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Three, violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, specifically the murder of Marcus Turner on September 26, 2006, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Four, violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, specifically the kidnaping of Marcus Turner on September 19, 2006, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), which carries a potential penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Five, violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, specifically the murder of Mario Stewart on March 22, 2005, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Six, violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, specifically the murder of Latrell Small on August 9, 2004, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Eleven, conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities to commit murder for hire, specifically the murder of Mario McNeal, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Twelve, conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities to commit murder for hire, specifically the murder of Mario Stewart, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Thirteen, conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities to commit murder for hire, specifically the murder of Latrell Small, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a), which carries a statutory penalty of life in prison;

    • Count Fourteen, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, which carries a statutory penalty of at least ten years and no more than life in prison;

    • Count Fifteen, possession with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), which carries a statutory penalty of at least ten years and no more than life in prison;

    • Count Sixteen, possession with intent to distribute approximately 600 pounds of marijuana, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), which carries a statutory penalty of at least five years and no more than 40 years in prison;

    • Count Seventeen, conspiracy to distribute at least 1000 kilograms of marijuana, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, which carries a statutory penalty of at least ten years and no more than life in prison;

    • Count Eighteen, conspiracy to commit money laundering, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), which carries a potential penalty of twenty years in prison; and

    • Counts Nineteen through Twenty-Three, each alleging a separate charge of money laundering, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), which carries a potential penalty of twenty years in prison.

Petties had previously pled guilty to a separate charge of possessing a weapon while in custody at the Federal Correctional Institution in Memphis. Petties is scheduled to be sentenced in both cases on April 1, 2011.

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