More on our story about the sentencing Thursday, Jan. 3, of Clarence Broady in the Craig Petties drug organization case in Memphis Federal Court.
As Broady was being sentenced Thursday afternoon to 31 years in prison by Federal Court Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays, another defendant in the case was making his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Vescovo.
We reported last month that Chris Hamlet was taken into custody by U.S. authorities in Texas and after some time in a federal prison in Oklahoma, he is now in federal custody here in Memphis with a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 8.
Hamlet has reportedly been serving prison time in Mexico where he was arrested in late 2007. Hamlet has returned to Memphis to face charges in a case that in every other aspect has now moved to the sentencing phase for the other defendants in what is the largest drug case ever brought in Memphis Federal Court — also the most violent with six murders involved in the racketeering and conspiracy charges.
Hamlet was a high ranking member of the organization headed by Craig Petties and based in the Riverview neighborhood in South Memphis. From there it operated in several states and had direct ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel of Mexico.
When Petties fled Memphis in 2002 for Mexico following his indictment here on federal drug charges, Hamlet also fled with him into exile where Petties ran the organization for six years until his capture in Mexico in January 2008.
Look for more on the particulars of the Broady sentencing hearing in a story in our Monday edition.