Petties and the Lewis cousins were among nine defendants named in a 61-page federal indictment in 2008, with charges including conspiracy to commit murder for hire, money laundering, cocaine and marijuana distribution and violent crime in aid of racketeering.
Craig Petties and Clinton Lewis
Jury selection is set to begin today in the federal trial of two alleged hit men from one of the largest drug-trafficking rings in Memphis’ history, with ties to a deadly Mexican cartel.
For their protection, jurors will be escorted each morning by armed U.S. Marshals from a secret location to federal court, as directed in a Jan. 26 court order by U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr.
Jurors will be known by numbers displayed across their chests, their identities shielded during the trial of cousins Clinton “Goldie” Lewis and Martin “M” Lewis, alleged associates of admitted drug kingpin Craig Petties.
In a search warrant affidavit years ago, a federal agent referred to Petties as “the primary supplier of cocaine and marijuana in the Memphis area.”
The Memphis native, whose legacy of crime began in his youth, eventually became a high-level broker for a powerful and lucrative Mexican cartel known for bribery and murder.