Opening statements begin in Memphis drug gang trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Opening statements begin in Memphis drug gang trial

Clinton Lewis, left, and Martin Lewis, photo courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Office. Clinton Lewis, left, and Martin Lewis, photo courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

By ADRIAN SAINZ
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys have presented opening statements in the federal trial of 2 Memphis men charged with being contract killers for a violent drug organization.

Clinton Lewis and Martin Lewis are charged with being members of an organization led by Craig Petties that began as a neighborhood gang in 1995 and grew into an empire that imported drugs from Mexico to sell in Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.

Prosecutor Greg Gilluly said the Lewises, who are cousins, each killed one person who was a threat to Petties' organization. He said other members also killed potential threats to the drug ring.

Anne Tipton, attorney for Clinton Lewis, said Lewis is innocent and the jury must judge the credibility of admitted gang members who will appear as prosecution witnesses.

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