Tonesa Welch: The First Lady of BMF

Tonesa Welch, renowned as the inaugural lady of the Black Mafia Family (BMF), is a multifaceted individual with a diverse background.

Apart from her early involvement in the drug trade, she has transitioned into various roles, including executive producing, motivational speaking, and establishing the Sylentheart Organization.

This article delves into her intriguing life journey, her association with BMF, and her ongoing ventures.

An image of Tonesa Welch sited on a chair
Still of Tonesa Welch from BET’s “American Gangster: Trap Queens” season 206. (Photo: Chris Dvoracek/BET)


Who Is Tonesa Welch In BMF?

Tonesa Welch, hailing from Detroit, Michigan, had a rather unconventional start in life, becoming a mother of three by the tender age of 19.

To sustain a lavish lifestyle, she turned to the drug trade in the early 1990s.

Fate led her to Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, one of the co-founders of BMF alongside his brother, Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory.

Welch not only became Terry’s devoted partner but also played a pivotal role in the organization.

She helped funnel vast sums of money through various legitimate businesses and properties, enjoying the extravagant perks associated with BMF, including lavish yachts, private jets, star-studded soirées, and opulent residences.

However, Welch’s life took a drastic turn in 2005 when she, along with Terry and other BMF members, faced indictment on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Welch admitted her guilt and received a 57-month sentence in federal prison, where she served time in two Californian facilities.

In 2012, she regained her freedom and embarked on a fresh journey in Los Angeles, leaving her past behind.

Who Is The Real First Lady Of BMF?

Welch is frequently dubbed the primary lady associated with BMF according to federal prosecutors and the media.

However, she is far from being the sole woman who held a significant role within the organization.

There existed other female associates, partners, and family members of BMF affiliates who actively participated in various facets of its operations.

This included overseeing finances, drug transportation, recruitment efforts, and the sharing of critical information.

Some of these women found themselves facing legal consequences, while others collaborated with law enforcement or remained fiercely loyal to BMF.

Among the most notable women within BMF, Janell Flenory stands out.

She was not only the wife of Big Meech and the mother of his two children but also his business partner, entrusted with managing certain financial accounts and transactions.

In 2007, she was apprehended and subsequently pleaded guilty to money laundering.

As a result, she received a sentence of five years probation and the forfeiture of various assets.

Another significant figure in the BMF saga was Tiffany Gloster, who held the status of Big Meech’s girlfriend prior to his marriage to Janell.

Gloster also had a role as a drug dealer within BMF’s Atlanta branch.

Her involvement led to her arrest in 2005, where she admitted guilt to conspiracy charges related to cocaine distribution.

Her punishment entailed a 10-year prison sentence, during which she cooperated with government authorities in their efforts against other BMF members.

What Show Was Tonesa On?

Tonesa Welch’s journey has been showcased in multiple television programs and documentaries delving into the history and impact of BMF.

One of these is “American Gangster: Trap Queens,” a true crime series available on BET+.


This show meticulously explores the criminal exploits of some of the United States’ most infamous female gangsters.

Welch was prominently featured in the second season of this series, which premiered in January 2021.

Additionally, Welch’s life story has inspired another program called “Notorious Queens,” a reality series on ALLBLK.

This show follows the lives of four women who have gained notoriety due to their past romantic relationships and intense media coverage.

Welch stars in this series alongside Stormey Ramdhan (the former spouse of Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight), La’Britney (a singer and former cast member of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood), and Mehgan James (a former star of Basketball Wives).

“Notorious Queens” made its debut in April 2021.

Furthermore, Welch is set to have her own biographical film on BET+ titled “The First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story.”

This movie will be directed by Vivica A. Fox and executive produced by Judge Greg Mathis and Tressa Azarel Smallwood.

The film will chronicle Welch’s journey, from becoming a teenage mother to entering the world of drug dealing, ultimately earning her the title “The First Lady of BMF” from federal prosecutors.

Production for the film was slated to begin in April 2021, with its release on BET+ expected later in the same year.


Tonesa Welch, a former influential figure in a major American crime family, underwent a transformation.

She is now an executive producer, motivational speaker, and founder of a charity aiding children with incarcerated parents.

Through her story, she aims to inspire others with her journey of resilience and redemption after facing the consequences of her actions.

ALSO READ: Shawna Frank: The First Wife of Power Rangers Star Jason David Frank

About the author

Howdy Robert

Howdy Robert is a versatile and passionate blogger deeply intrigued by delving into various domains such as News, Celebrity biographies, Education, Music, Politics, Sports, Technology, and Entertainment. My enthusiasm lies in creating gripping narratives that captivate, educate, and motivate my readers. Skillful in infusing perceptive commentary into enthralling storytelling, my goal is to provide content that connects with a broad audience.







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