Kai Franklin, daughter of Atlanta Mayor, pleads guilty in drug trafficking probe


Hat Tip:  By Alan Judd, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Greenville, S.C. — A daughter of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin pleaded guilty today to federal charges that she illegally concealed proceeds from her former husband’s transcontinental drug-trafficking ring.

Kai Franklin Graham, 35, the oldest of the mayor’s three children, pleaded guilty to structuring financial transactions in a way that avoided scrutiny from federal authorities.


While her former husband, Tremayne Graham, 34, was a fugitive from justice, she converted cash from him into 14 postal money orders totaling $14,000. She admitted going to seven Atlanta area post offices in a single day to avoid federal financial rules that would require reports of transactions exceeding $2,000.

Franklin Graham is likely to be sentenced to three months of home confinement and three years of probation. However, if she fails to comply with terms of her plea agreement with federal prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Henry M. Herlong Jr. could increase the sentence to as much as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Herlong will formally sentence Franklin Graham in 60 to 90 days.

The mayor sat in a federal courtroom in Greenville this morning and watched as her daughter entered the plea. She declined to comment afterward.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Moore said Franklin Graham is expected to cooperate in several aspects of an investigation into her former husband’s drug business, which moved at least 2,200 pounds of Mexican cocaine from Los Angeles through Atlanta to South Carolina.

He said authorities will question her about a double homicide in Atlanta linked to the case. One of the victims, Ulysses Hackett III, was a co-defendant of Tremayne Graham’s and was thought to be considering an offer to testify against him in exchange for a lenient sentence.

A federal grand jury in South Carolina indicted Tremayne Graham in April 2004 in the drug case, which has resulted in more than a dozen guilty pleas. While he was out of jail on a $400,000 bond, Hackett and his girlfriend, Misty Denise Carter, were shot to death in her Virginia-Highland townhouse.

Atlanta police never solved the case, but federal prosecutors have alleged Graham ordered the killings.

According to earlier testimony, Graham then told an associate that he had moved into the mayor’s house, hoping to signal he feared he, too, would be killed. Soon, he fled to California. From there, authorities allege, he sent couriers with bags of cash to his wife.

Although Franklin Graham pleaded guilty to financial transactions conducted on Nov. 12, 2004, Moore said in court that the government could have proved that she engaged in additional transactions to hide the source of her cash.

Franklin Graham filed for divorce in January 2005.

Authorities captured Graham in June 2005 in California. Prosecutors later alleged he lied about his former wife’s role in his drug business ” one factor that prompted the judge to impose the maximum sentence against him: life with no chance of parole.

Must be nice to have Mama’s pull when you’re jammed up in a drug sting.  If it was you or me, they woulda charged us as accessories and sent us up for a cool quarter-mandatory.  That’s 25 years, for all y’all who ain’t know.

14 thoughts on “Kai Franklin, daughter of Atlanta Mayor, pleads guilty in drug trafficking probe

  1. Given more than 90% of the rest of America, and 99% of Black America, and this is what she did with her life.


    Guess it’s not a game now.

  2. rikyrah,

    Miss gurl ain’t going nowhere, honey. Not with a Mama who got pull like that and a white Daddy with a multi-million dollar concession at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. She’ll end up in papa’s employ-trust and believe. Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang. Holla!

  3. After reading that, I’m remembering that sista, Kimber Smith, who was a clean-cut girl, college student, came from a middle-class background, and her only offense was dating a drug dealer.

    She got six years for being associated with him, even though she wasn’t seen doing runs for him or anything else. Only media scrutiny (via “Dateline”) and a pardon from Bill Clinton is the reason she’s free today.

    But not before she spent six years in the joint, away from her family and the son she had by said drug dealer.

    She’s only getting off ’cause Mama’s the mayor. Out in Oakland, Ron Dellums’ opponent, City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente, came close to beating Ron in the Oakland Mayor’s race, but de la Fuentes’ son got busted by the Oakland po-po for raping a 14-year old girl while daddy was campaigning in the primaries.

    State of Cali locked up his son for a 15-year stretch. And it’s not like he couldn’t have called in some favors from Schwarzeneggar, but he chose to let his kid take his punishment, even though it cost him the Mayor’s office.

    Even Dellums’ son got busted for drug dealing and possession back in the late ’80s. Shirley Franklin called in some chits, book it.

  4. melvinowens

    mike vick did not pollute our community with drugs, and goes to jail. this woman knowingly spends drug money to “pay her mortgage”(WHAT ABOUT GEtting a job), and has knowledge of her husband’s participation in a double homicide. she and vick need to trade places in prison.

  5. Melvin, she didn’t kill dogs for sport. You know that what drove the authorities to get Vick was to shut up PETA.

    There are probabaly some members of Congress looking over their shoulders because they got fingers in pies like dog-fighting and drug-dealing (ask Duke Cunningham about that one).

  6. melvinowens

    political junkie:you miss the point. if one goes to jail for dog fighting, you should also do time for aiding and abetting drug dealers, as this woman did with her husband. she sould be locked up.

  7. A Friend!

    1. Kai lived what we would read about a “Fairy Tale” lifestyle. If presented to anyone of us, we would have taken it! Whoever thinks about the ending when things are so grand today! REAL TALK! Kai is not to be proclaimed as some sort of menace of deception to life or her family. She merely fell in love with a lifestyle then the man that could provide it for her. Now to say that she had not inkling to the business trade at hand, I would not agree to that, but if it had been YOU I promise you would have thought twice as well.
    In terms of Shirley, she is a great Mayor and should be recognized as that. We can only raise are children and guide them in the right direction, but whatever life they choose, is up to them. I would consider myself as an upstanding person, career drive professional, who comes from a great family, but when presented with some of the gifts KiKi was supplying Kai with, sometimes I wish I could have been her for a day! Just a honest thought…..!
    Good Luck Kai and much support to your family!

  8. This is in response to A Friend’s comments:

    I’m wondering
    why is it okay for Kai to have a fairytale lifestyle funded by illegal activities?
    What’s wrong with her
    princess wannabe azz working for it?

  9. set it straight

    What kind of friend would allow you to live that life and think it glamerous? If she had not been the Mayor’s daughter, she would be in jail, like Kendra Smith was, and it wouldn’t be cute. Now I agree that the Fairy Lifestyle was wonderful, but the consequences should have outweighed that. It didn’t because she knows she will ALWAYS get away with it. She always has, she always will. I guess I should be happy for her and only hope that if I am that stupid or get caught up, my parents middle income can keep me from doing time.

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