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Kenneth McGriff was the leader of the Supreme Team gang, a main player in the Baisley Park crack-cocaine scene. In 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison.
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Kenneth McGriff was born on September 19, 1960, in Queens, New York. In 1985, he was convicted of narcotics possession. He was released on parole in 1995. In 2002 he was arrested pending murder charges when rival gangsters E Money Bags and Troy Singleton were found dead in Queens. In 2003, he was convicted of drug trafficking, racketeering and murder. In 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Infamous gangster Kenneth McGriff was born on September 19, 1960, the middle child of three in family-friendly South Jamaica, Queens. McGriff's parents were both city transit workers, and the family lived a middle-class lifestyle.
Kenneth was introduced to a sect of the Nation of Islam, called the "Five Percent Nation," while attending Catherine & Count Basie Junior High School. The "Five Percenters" were formed in the 1960s, based on the belief that five percent of the African-American population were destined to be its natural leaders. McGriff's involvement with the group earned him the righteous name "The Supreme."
McGriff was introduced to local drug kingpin "Fat Cat" Nichols, through a fellow Five Percenter, "Prince" Rasheem, who was a cousin of Nichols. Supreme formed his own crew shortly after called The Supreme Team. He based his drug business in the Baisley Park Housing Projects, which were close to McGriff's home. Under McGriff's leadership, the gang's numbers reached the hundreds, and the team dominated the crack-cocaine trade in Baisley Park.
McGriff arranged an elaborate security system around the projects, assigning lookouts equipped with walkie-talkies to keep watch from the tops of nearby buildings. If police officials entered the area, McGriff's security team would alert their dealers, who would then hide incriminating evidence. Neighborhood kids who were loyal to McGriff would be given special treats, including basketball tournaments and musical performances.
In 1985, McGriff was convicted of narcotics possession and sentenced to time at Elmira State Prison in New York. While McGriff served his time, The Supreme Team was placed under the leadership of McGriff's nephew, Gerald "Prince" Miller. Miller was known to be vicious and unforgiving, and through his leadership dozens of people were tortured, beaten and murdered. As the head of the organization, McGriff received the blame for the new, and much more violent, business dealings. As soon as he was released from Elmira in 1987, he landed right back in prison for engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise. After a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the offense.
After serving almost seven years of his sentence, McGriff was released from prison on parole in early 1995. The former drug kingpin decided to go straight, and opened a barbershop near his parents' home. He also began making plans to enter the film industry, with the goal of creating a remake of a Donald Goines crime novel. Making friends with hip-hop producer Irv Gotti, McGriff began meeting rappers and urban musicians, often providing them with protection.
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