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Press Release

CBF/BFL Member Who Participated In Multiple Attempted Murders And The Murder Of A Rival Gang Member Going To Jail For 19 Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:  Barbara Burns

PHONE:         (716) 843-5817

FAX #:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Larell Watkins, a/k/a 90-Ls, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, was sentenced to serve 19 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul C. Parisi, Seth T. Molisani, and Christopher O. Taylor who handled the case, stated that the defendant was a member of the CBL/BFL Gang, which stands for, among other things, “Cash Been Long” and “Brothers for Life.” The gang, which was involved in the illegal possession and distribution of narcotics, was formed around 2009 and operated primarily in the City of Buffalo at the Towne Gardens Housing Complex. The gang used violence, including murder and attempted murder, threats, and intimidation to defend their territory against rivals and anyone deemed to be a threat to the gang. Defendant Watkins participated in the following acts:

On September 23, 2014, the defendant shot a rival gang member in the elbow on E. Eagle Street in Buffalo.

On April 19, 2015, Watkins shot a rival gang member in the chest at Bailey and Dartmouth Avenues in Buffalo.

On September 21, 2015, the defendant shot a rival gang member in the wrist at Genesee and Crossman Streets in Buffalo.

On November 8, 2015, at William and Krettner Streets in Buffalo, Watkins engaged in a shooting during which he was struck by gunfire and he also returned fire at a rival gang member.

On July 17, 2016, the defendant was in a physical altercation at a restaurant in Cheektowaga, NY and drove away. Watkins was pulled over by a Cheektowaga Police Officer a short time later on Walden Avenue. The officer recovered a 45 caliber pistol in the defendant's trunk.

On December 11, 2016, Watkins and other gang members were shot at by rival gang members at a sports facility in Cheektowaga. Watkins and other gang members retaliated by shooting a rival gang member at Broadway and Lathrop Avenue in Buffalo.

On January I, 2017, the defendant was at a New Year's Eve Party at an apartment building in the Towne Gardens in Buffalo attended by numerous other gang members. At the party, Xavier Wimes confronted a co-defendant regarding a social media feud between Wimes and the co-defendant. Wimes struck the co-defendant in the head with a bottle. Watkins and others punched and kicked Wimes and forced him into an apartment. The defendant obtained a loaded .45 caliber pistol from a separate apartment, guided the co-defendant into his vehicle, placed the pistol in the vehicle with the co-defendant, and stated openly that Wimes needed to be held accountable for what occurred. Wimes jumped out of a window and the co-defendant shot Wimes to death. Buffalo Police recovered a .45 caliber pistol near Wimes's body.  

A total of 13 defendants were charged and convicted in this case. Watkins is the eighth defendant to be convicted.

The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gang Section provided vital assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

The sentencing 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 Mark Packard; 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.

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Updated June 23, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime