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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 31, 2019

Gang Member Pleads Guilty To Racketeering and Drug Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Aaron Mack, aka Dean, aka Dean-O, 27, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine, was sentenced to serve 72 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. Parisi, who is handling 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 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.

Between 2010 and August 28, 2018, the defendant conspired with several gang members and associates to distribute illegal narcotics and commit assault. Specifically:

• On April 7, 2013, Mack and co-defendant Michael Walker possessed marijuana in a vehicle in Cheektowaga, NY;
• On June 19, 2014, Mack and co-defendant Shawn Woods were in a vehicle at Swan and Hickory Streets in Buffalo, when they were stopped by the police. Mack was in possession of two plastic bags of crack cocaine;
• On October 2, 2014, Mack and co-defendant Shawn Woods were in a vehicle on Spring Street in Buffalo, and were once again stopped by police. When Mack and Woods were placed in the back of a police vehicle, they dropped a bag containing cocaine on the floor of the police car;
• On March 5, 2017, Mack was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police. The defendant fled from the vehicle and threw a loaded 9mm pistol; and
• Between 2015 and 2016, Mack sold heroin to individuals in the Towne Gardens.
 
Mack was one of 13 defendants indicted in August 2018. Acts of violence allegedly committed by fellow gang members include two murders. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack; 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; 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
Opioids
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated May 31, 2019