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High-ranking BMF member pleads guilty

Chad 'J-Bo' Brown faces 15 or more years in prison

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One of the Black Mafia Family crime ring's top lieutenants pleaded guilty April 2 to cocaine conspiracy and money-laundering charges. A plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit states that Chad "J-Bo" Brown will spend between 15 and 20 years in prison.

Brown has appeared in nightclubs and promotional videos flanking alleged BMF leader Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory, who is believed to have run the Atlanta headquarters of a multistate, $270 million cocaine enterprise. Flenory, who was CEO of Atlanta-based record label BMF Entertainment, has described J-Bo as the company's chief operating officer.

BMF's presence was huge in Atlanta, where the crew threw wild parties – and was tied to violent acts that affected Young Jeezy, P. Diddy and Bobby Brown. The crew was the subject of a three-part series published by Creative Loafing last year.

To date, eight of the 58 defendants charged in two BMF-related indictments have pleaded guilty, and two are cooperating with the government.

Brown's plea agreement, however, describes no willingness to help the feds. "He's not giving any information, period, regarding any of the co-defendants," says Rodney Holmes, Brown's attorney and a former federal prosecutor. Holmes says that if Brown had cooperated, "he could probably get that [sentence] cut in half.

"But he's not. You don't see that a lot. The majority of people, when put in that kind of situation, tell on everyone, including their mother."

The U.S. attorney's office in Detroit did not return CL's calls.

Court documents state that Brown, while out on bond, was arrested with two other men in St. Louis on Feb. 5 – along with a loaded 9 mm, $5,000, a pound of marijuana and "'Black Mafia' paperwork." Holmes claims that the gun, cash and drugs didn't belong to Brown.

Flenory and most of the other defendants are scheduled for trial in August.

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