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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 16, 2020

CBL/BFL Member Going To Prison For More Than 15 Years For Racketeering Conspiracy And Other Charges; Buffalo Woman Also Going To Prison For Lying About A Murder By Another CBL/BFL Gang Member

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Miquise Jones, a/k/a Scaife, 24, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering and narcotics conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 188 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. In addition, Shanna Smith, 25, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of making false declarations before a federal grand jury and obstruction of justice, was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison.  

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth T. Molisani and Paul C. Parisi, who handled the cases, stated that defendant Jones 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 operates primarily in the City of Buffalo at the Towne Gardens Housing Complex. The Towne Gardens served as a central hub for the gang with many members living within the housing complex, and many housing units used to store firearms and narcotics. Parking lots and business fronts adjacent to the Towne Gardens were utilized by members of the gang to distribute street level quantities of narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs. 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.

The proof against Jones established that on August 21, 2015, the defendant drove a vehicle on Dodge Street Buffalo with two co-defendants who shot at Victim J, a rival gang member, in retaliation for the shooting of Larell Watkins. On August 30, 2015, Jones drove a vehicle to Genesee and Crossman Streets in Buffalo, with two co-defendants who shot at Victim K, a rival gang member. On September 21, 2015, at East Ferry Street in Buffalo, the defendant drove a vehicle with three co-defendants, and one of those co-defendants exited the vehicle, fired a gun numerous times at Victim L, a rival gang member. Victim L sought refuge in a store and the co-defendant then opened up the door to the store and began to shoot inside of the store. Victim L was struck in his arm and sustained injuries. Approximately 20 minutes later, Jones drove the vehicle in the area of Genesee and Crossman Streets in Buffalo. Another co-defendant in the car fired shots and struck Victim K, a rival gang member.

On April 4, 2016, the defendant appeared in a video on Snapchat and displayed three firearms. On June 4, 2016, Jones was in a vehicle stopped by the Buffalo Police Department and possessed a Beretta semi-automatic pistol with ammunition.  On December 11, 2016, the defendant was at Skyzone in Cheektowaga, NY when rival gang members shot at members of CBL/BFL. Jones and others agreed to retaliate.  The defendant drove to the bar called The Groove in Buffalo where a co-defendant fired gunshots at Victim L, a rival gang member.  On June 2, 2017, in the Towne Gardens, Jones possessed marijuana packaged for distribution.

On July 31, 2018, defendant Smith, 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 also 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. Smith 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 sentencings are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; 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; 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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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated October 16, 2020