| 10-10-2011, 08:19 AM||away - #41|
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Originally Posted by Lavares
THIS GUY SOUNDS LIKE A SNITCH TO ME BUT [pic]..... I DONT KNOW THAT MAN
Craig Petties, the Memphis drug trafficker accused of working as a high-level broker for a Mexican cartel, pleaded guilty to four murks, kidnapping and conspiracy in December 2009, the U.S. Attorney's Office revealed Tuesday.
The office kept the guilty pleas secret for about 14 months until U.S. Dist. Judge Samuel Mays Jr. ordered the records opened Tuesday. U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Walter Gunn wouldn't say why the documents had been secret.
Petties pleaded guilty to 19 counts listed in a 2009 indictment, including charges of money laundering and transporting well over a ton of cocaine and marijuana, in addition to murk and conspiracy.
Seven of the counts carry mandatory life sentences, and five others carry potential life sentences.
In the most recent indictment of Petties, prosecutors listed special circumstances that might merit the [rip] penalty.
Petties will be sentenced April 1. He had previously pleaded guilty to having a homemade cutting weapon while in custody.
An indictment had accused Petties and others of k!lling six rivals, but a news release about the plea deal mentions only four victims.
One of the victims identified is Marcus Turner, whom prosecutors say was kidnapped on Petties' orders, shot dead and left nak3d in a ditch in Olive Branch in September 2006.
The victim's mother, Lucy Turner of West Memphis, said Tuesday that officials called her to a meeting in the federal building on Valentine's Day to tell her about Petties' guilty plea.
She said they told her Petties would receive life in prison without parole.
"I told them I'm very pleased," the 60-year-old said. "I can't ask for more."
Former federal prosecutor Tommy Parker emphasized that he's not familiar with the Petties case, but said it's very common for suspects in drug conspiracy cases to help law enforcement in exchange for lighter sentences.
He also said it's not unusual for the government to keep guilty pleas secret.
In a drug conspiracy case, for instance, the government might ask the court to seal records so that co-conspirators who are still dealing drugs don't know that the defendant is helping the government, he said.
"Plus, in a guilty plea it's not unusual to mention names," he said. "And so the transcript of that hearing would be sealed so that the people whose names are mentioned are not exposed. And it also could be the defendant, him or herself, who could be at risk."
There's also a potential risk to the defendant's family members, he said.
Mexico's former attorney general has accused Petties of working as a wholesaler for that country's Beltran Leyva drug organization, which has been linked to brutal slayings of its rivals and their family members.
Mexican Marines k!lled one of the group's leaders, Arturo Beltran Leyva, in a Dec. 17, 2009, shootout. A Marine named Melquisedet Angulo Cordova also died in the gunfight and was buried with honors. Days later,[..]assins broke into a house and k!lled the Marine's mother, his aunt, a sister and a brother.
In the days leading up to the raid, the U.S. Embassy had given Mexican authorities information on Arturo Beltran Leyva's location, The New York Times reported.
Since then, the Beltran Leyva organization has faced infighting and more arrests.
Now 34, Petties grew up in the Riverview neighborhood and dropped out of high school. His early criminal record includes convictions for boxcar burglary and drug violations.
In April 2001, he and several others were caught in a Memphis house with about 600 pounds of marijuana. At some point thereafter, he fled to Mexico, where authorities say he used cell phones to run his drug organization.
Mexican authorities caught him in the city of Queretaro in January 2008 and deported him to the U.S.
Some see him as a larger-than-life figure: Local rapper Yo Gotti even mentioned Petties several times in a song released last year.
Dope contribution, now I know who Gotti was talkin' about. [pic]