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2 accused in contract killings on trial in Memphis

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Jury selection has begun in the trial of two men charged with serving as contract killers in a violent drug ring accused of moving cocaine from Mexico into Tennessee and other Southern states.

Clinton Lewis and Martin Lewis are charged with committing murders as members of a drug gang led by Craig Petties, who fled to Mexico after being indicted by a federal grand jury in 2002.

Petties was captured in 2008 and pleaded guilty last year to racketeering, money laundering and ordering four murders as part of his role as leader of the wide-ranging drug organization.

U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton has described the trial as one of the largest of its kind in West Tennessee. Petties is expected to testify in the trial. Jury selection began Monday.

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