Killing of Black Disciples ‘king’ could be linked to Mexico’s Gulf Cartel drugs, FBI says
Lawrence ‘Big Law’ Loggins was shot to death last year in a parked car in Englewood. New revelations of possible Gulf Cartel ties are in an affidavit in a sweeping drug case.
The leader of one of Chicago’s oldest and largest gangs could have been killed in connection with a load of drugs supplied by the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican drug cartel, according to an FBI court filing.
Lawrence “Big Law” Loggins was shot to death on Feb. 6, 2019, in a parked car in front of his home near 72nd and Union in Englewood. His righthand man Kenneth Brown suffered a graze wound. Whoever shot them sped off.
Months later, high-ranking members of the gang picked Brown to run it behind the scenes and supply it with drugs and guns, while two other, unnamed members would be the “face” of the gang, the FBI says it learned from an informant.
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Brown, whose lawyer didn’t respond to efforts to reach him for comment, was charged last month in Chicago in a sweeping federal drug case against the gang.
According to a July 23 FBI affidavit, Brown told the informant that, shortly before Loggins was killed, a drug shipment from the Gulf Cartel arrived in Chicago and that he planned to move the drugs to a secure place —but the drugs were “now unaccounted for,” along with 85 guns.
Brown told the informant Loggins’ killing was “related to these narcotics and firearms,” according to the FBI.
Brown also said he recovered some of the missing drugs and collected $450,000 to pay the gang’s cartel connection in Mexico, according to the informant.
The affidavit doesn’t spell out how the drugs might have been linked to Loggins’ killing.
Brown told the informant he kept only a “small circle” informed of the gang’s cartel drug connection, according to the FBI.
Last September, federal agents seized 10 kilograms of cocaine from a South Side storage unit Brown was renting, according to the affidavit.
The informant was a Black Disciples member hoping for a break after he was arrested in 2018 on gun and drug charges, according to the FBI, which paid him more than $40,000 for his help. The informant got probation on the drug charge; the gun case was dismissed, court records show.
Another man charged in the investigation, Darnell “Murder” McMiller, is described by prosecutors as the “current leader of the Chicago Black Disciples.” He was released from prison in April 2019 after serving an eight-year federal drug sentence.
In documents in the case against McMiller, prosecutors say they’ve talked with his co-defendants, who identified him as the leader. In a secretly recorded gang board meeting in May 2019, a month after McMiller got out of prison, he talked about having the backing to become the next leader, prosecutors say.
They say McMiller was caught on a wiretap boasting in September 2019 he held sway over factions of the Black Disciples in the southern United States.
Last year, law enforcement sources told the Chicago Sun-Times they were worried about retaliatory shootings in response to Loggins’ killing. Police officers even were assigned as security for Loggins’ funeral procession. Many of the gang’s elders were conspicuously absent from his funeral, according to community sources in Englewood.
But sources say fears of retaliation for Loggins’ killing apparently never were realized.
At the time, one theory about the motive for the killing was that younger gang members were unhappy Loggins was centralizing his power.
The Black Disciples once boasted of at least 4,000 members in Chicago, according to the police. In recent years, the gang has splintered into autonomous, drug-dealing factions, according to the police department, which says the gang has been responsible for scores of killings over the years.
Loggins, 46, was freed from prison in 2009 after doing time for the murder of Gregory Freeman in Lowe Park on the South Side. Loggins hadn’t been arrested since then and had even worked for the anti-violence group CeaseFire.
The Black Disciples were founded in the 1960s under David Barksdale. Jerome Freeman was crowned the king in 1974 after Barksdale’s death. Freeman went to prison in 1990 on a drug conviction, and Marvel Thompson became de facto leader of the Black Disciples on the streets until the FBI arrested him in a drug conspiracy case in 2004.
Loggins’ son Lawrence “Lil’ Law” Lee is a leader of the gang’s Lamron faction, according to police. He’s doing 15 years for attempted murder but is eligible for parole in two years. The faction’s territory runs along Normal Avenue from 59th to 67th streets in Englewood. Lamron is “normal” backwards.
Rapper Chief Keef, who’s associated with the Black Disciples, has popularized the Lamron faction in his music.