Teen Aged Gang Member guilty of murder
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Dwight Mitchell, 19, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to aiding and abetting a violent crime committed in aid of a racketeering enterprise. The charges carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce and Special Assistant United States Attorney Paul Parisi, who are handling the case, stated that on November 29, 2010, the defendant, then 16 years-old and a member of the Bailey Boys street gang, participated in the murder of Charles Myles-Jones. As indicated in documents filed in federal court, the Bailey Boys were a violent street gang operating on the East side of Buffalo which was responsible for multiple acts of violence and narcotics trafficking.
Regarding the murder, during the evening of November 29, 2010, a group of Bailey Boys gang members and associates proceeded to the Super Stop Food Market at 970 Kensington Avenue to see if any members of the rival “Midway Crew” gang were inside. After “scouting” the store, two members of the group reported back to the others. After briefly departing the area, it was agreed that an individual identified as “TS,” who was at that time seeking membership into the Bailey Boys gang, would return to the market to shoot one of the individuals in the store. Defendant Mitchell was sent to accompany “TS” to ensure that he did the shooting. Once back at the Super Stop Food Market, Mitchell held the door open for “TS” who fired several shots into the store, one of which struck Charles Myles Jones in the chest, fatally wounding him.
In pleading guilty, Mitchell admitted that at the time of the murder, he was a member of the Bailey Boys and that he participated in the murder to both enhance his own standing in the gang and to help “TS,” who was not a Bailey Boys member at the time, to gain entry into the gang. The victim, Charles Myles-Jones was an employee of the Super Stop Food Market and was not affiliated with any gang.
Mitchell, who was only 16 years old when he participated in the murder and could have asked for a hearing to determine if he should be treated as a juvenile offender or as an adult, waived his right to the hearing.
"Experience has shown that gang members often use juveniles to commit acts of violence, with the belief that such juveniles will avoid being treated as adults in the criminal justice system,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Today’s plea should send a message that such a belief is unfounded.”
Sentencing is scheduled for August 26, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.