MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - One of the most important drug trials in Tennessee history is taking place in downtown Memphis. A jury is now being selected to decide the fate of two accused hit men for a notorious drug ring.
Investigators say Clinton and Martin Lewis were part of Craig Petties' drug operation. Petties is one of the most powerful drug lords in the Bluff City's history. He's also expected to testify against the pair.
Martin Lewis and Clinton Lewis got the first glimpse of the men and women who could decide their fate as jury selection began the morning of February 6, 2012, but at the end of the day no jury members had been seated. Lawyers said the trial could last 3 to 4 weeks and if the first day was any indication, the judge and lawyers will take their time.
The day began with 150 potential jurors. Everyone had to go through two metal detectors to get into court on the 11th floor of the federal building.
Jury selection was closed to the public; for those who could get into the courtroom, phones and laptops weren't allowed. Given the violent nature of this case, the judge wants to take every precaution to protect the identities of the jurors. Once selected, they will be transported to and from court by U.S. Marshals from an undisclosed location.
In 2007, Martin and Clinton Lewis were arrested for their suspected involvement in Craig Petties' massive drug ring. Martin and Clinton were known under the aliases of 'M' and 'Goldie' as the accused contract killers of the operation.
Everyone who was caught as part of Petties' enterprises pleaded guilty except for the Lewises.
Judge Samuel Mays only got through a few questions with around 100 potential jurors left as the selection process continues Tuesday.