A portrait of Memphis’ secret seedy side is taking shape in a federal trial of two alleged hit men from the city’s most notorious drug organization, says the Memphis Commercial Appeal. It includes killers callously hunting down their targets. a Mexico death squad armed with assault rifles and silencers, and a 6-year-old boy caught up in a shootout over a multi-million-dollar drug heist.
The most anticipated witness, organization leader Craig Petties, is yet to testify. Petties, who preached loyalty at all costs and ordered deaths of those who betrayed him, has become what he hated — a government snitch. Monday starts the third week in the trial of two cousins accused of being hit men for Petties. Security is high, with officials shielding jurors’ identities and manning extra checkpoints. Armed U.S. Marshals escort jurors from a secret location to and from court. More than 30 Petties associates have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from cocaine trafficking and racketeering to murder.