Detroit — A prominent Detroit music mogul allegedly is one of the largest heroin dealers in the Midwest and using his rap label to launder drug money, according to sealed federal court records.
BMB Records owner Brian “Peanut” Brown also is responsible for selling heroin laced with fentanyl, the synthetic pain medication fueling the nation’s deadliest addiction crisis, according to court records that chronicle a sprawling drug investigation involving Brown’s wife, a girlfriend, millions in drug profits and a mansion with a secret “Narnia” room.
The 47-year-old Warren man has not been charged with a drug crime despite an ongoing, years-long investigation that was recently revealed when the government temporarily unsealed a federal search warrant affidavit. The affidavit, obtained by The Detroit News, lists probable cause to raid multiple homes that allegedly are part of Brown’s empire.
The 50-page federal court record contradicts Brown’s redemption story crafted after he emerged from a decade-long prison sentence for drug conspiracy in 2010. On social media, Brown portrays himself as a successful “hood hero” and last month posted a billboard near McNichols and I-75 promoting an upcoming self-help book.
Brown allegedly using his rap label to hide money earned through large-scale criminal activity is a modern twist on a Prohibition-era racket, said Carl Taylor, a Michigan State University sociology professor who has studied drugs and gangs.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents say they have seized at least one kilogram of fentanyl while investigating Brown’s alleged drug ring. Agents say Brown’s drug ring is responsible for distributing more than 440 pounds of drugs throughout the U.S. and amassed millions in cash, luxury vehicles, real estate and expensive jewelry.
It is unclear whether the government has enough evidence to file drug charges against Brown, who has remained out of jail after federal agents obtained a search warrant to raid at least six homes and two banks. Inventories of what, if anything, was seized during the raids are sealed in federal court.
It can take years to investigate multi-state, large-scale drug rings.