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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 8, 2020

Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Lying To The Grand Jury About Her Cousin's Role In A Murder At The Towne Gardens Apartment Complex

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Shanna Smith, 25, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to making false declarations before a federal grand jury and obstruction of justice. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who is handling the case, stated that on July 31, 2018, the defendant, while under oath, lied to a federal grand jury regarding the murder of Xavier Wimes on January 1, 2017, and the role of her cousin, Dalvon Curry, in that murder. Curry was a member of the CBL/BFL Gang. Smith testified that she was with Curry the night that Wimes was shot dead outside the Towne Gardens Apartments. The defendant stated that there were approximately 20 guys around Wimes at the time he was shot: “Zave was fighting them, but I didn't - then I heard gunshots, but I didn't see who shot him. I just heard gunshots.” Smith also testified that as police officers arrived, she saw the gun on the ground in the grass near the sidewalk. Smith denied seeing someone throw it. The defendant also stated: “Dal picked it up. I mean, he was probably trying to take it, but he threw it in the bushes when he saw the cops.”

In February 2020, a federal jury convicted Dalvon Curry, of murder in aid of racketeering for the death of Xavier Wimes. He is awaiting sentencing.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Guyton; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Sliwinski; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel; the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina; and the Erie Crime Analysis Center. Additional assistance was provided by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney John Flynn.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 16, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.

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Updated June 8, 2020