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Press Release

Martin Lewis Sentenced To Life In Prison For His Role In Petties Drug Trafficking Organization

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Martin Lewis, 35, of Memphis, TN was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. to life in prison for his role in the Craig Petties Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III and Resident Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Memphis office Brian Chambers. There is no parole in the federal prison system.
On March 23, 2012, Lewis was convicted by a federal jury of racketeering conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, conspiracy to commit murder for hire, and money laundering. Evidence presented at trial showed Lewis was a member of a criminal racketeering enterprise, the Petties DTO, whose members conspired with cocaine traffickers in Mexico, Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and elsewhere. As part of the conspiracy, cocaine was prepared, packaged and/or stored prior to distribution to buyers in “stash houses.” Lewis and his co-conspirators used these “stash houses” to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities. It was further part of the conspiracy that the defendants and their co-conspirators sorted, counted, packaged, and delivered large amounts of cash derived from the sale of controlled substances in various co-conspirators’ premises in the Western District of Tennessee and elsewhere in order to facilitate continued drug trafficking. It was further part of the conspiracy that the defendant and the co-conspirators did kill other people who were believed to be enemies of the enterprise. Over 30 people have been charged and convicted as part of this investigation.
The evidence at trial specifically showed that Lewis worked with co-defendant Clinton Lewis and others to murder Mario McNeal, who was considered to be a threat to the DTO. Martin Lewis himself went to a Memphis restaurant where he shot and killed McNeal.
“Today’s sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole will hopefully provide a meaningful measure of comfort to the family of Mario McNeal and others victimized by the ruthless criminal acts of Martin Lewis,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “This case is a prime example of our unwavering commitment to hold accountable to the fullest extent of the law those who insist on creating an atmosphere of violence and sustaining fear in our neighborhoods.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshals Service, the Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Olive
United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III
Western District of Tennessee
Branch Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Pritchard on behalf of the government.

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This case was prosecuted under the authority of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General's drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises.

Updated March 19, 2015