Two Members Of The CFL/BFL Plead Guilty To Racketeering Conspiracy And Other Charges
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Miquise Jones, a/k/a Scaife, 22, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to racketeering and narcotics conspiracy. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. In addition, Michael Walker, also of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. Parisi, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants were members 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.
During his plea, defendant Jones admitted to the following:
• Sometime in 2013 and 2014, Jones, and others, recorded several music videos in and around the Towne Gardens for songs entitled “Damn Fool,” “My Side of Town,” and “War.” They displayed firearms, United States currency, and association with the enterprise.
• 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. One of the 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.
As part of his plea, defendant Walker admitted to the following:
• On May 13, 2013, in Buffalo, the defendant was stopped by a Buffalo Police Officer while riding a bicycle in violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. During the encounter, Walker possessed crack cocaine and marijuana.
• On February 1, 2017, law enforcement observed the defendant and a co-defendant exiting 974 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. A search warrant was then executed at the residence and officers recovered two pistols, both with a magazine and ammunition, a barrel extender, and a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine. Also recovered were metal spoons, digital scales, grinders, and kilogram presses, as well as various bags containing controlled substances, including heroin, fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, and U-47700.
• On March 10, 2017, Walker provided an attorney for a co-defendant with an affidavit the defendant prepared and signed stating the he rented the apartment at 974 Jefferson Avenue, and that he possessed a 9mm and 40 caliber gun and the heroin in the apartment. The defendant provided the affidavit in an effort falsely to exonerate the co-defendant for possessing controlled substances and firearms.
• On June 19, 2019, Walker met up with Victim 1 on Genesee Street in Cheektowaga, while a co-defendant waited down the street. Walker accused Victim 1 of killing a CBL/BFL member and also of cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation of CBL/BFL. The defendant and co-defendant then both began punching Victim 1 and stomping Victim 1’s upper body and head onto the pavement. Walker and the co-defendant then ran away. Victim 1 was treated at a hospital for a fractured shoulder bone and concussion.
“The good citizens of Western New York do not deserve to live in fear of young men who decide to join these violent neighborhood street gangs,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “In joining these gangs, members agree to a rulebook which seems to require them to poison their home field through drug dealing and to kill anyone who plays for an opposing team. Those are not the rules, however, and if these young men cannot recognize that in joining these gangs they are participating in a zero sum game, then my Office will enforce the actual rulebook—in the form of federal criminal law—and remove them from our community.”
The pleas are 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.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 27, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.
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