Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Walker, 29, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment 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 operated 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.
As part of his plea, defendant Walker admitted to the following:
- On June 19, 2019, the defendant was on Genesee Street, Cheektowaga, New York with co-defendant Kareem Pryor where they met up with Victim 1. The defendant 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 Pryor then both began punching Victim 1. The assault carried into the street and Victim 1 was forced to the ground where the defendant and co-defendant Pryor used their feet with shoes on them to stomp Victim 1’s upper body and head onto the pavement. The defendant and co-defendant Pryor then ran away. Victim 1 was treated at a hospital for a fractured shoulder bone and a concussion.
- On February 1, 2017, the defendant possessed over 600 grams of a mixture of butyryl fentanyl and three firearms.
- In March 2017, the defendant signed a false affidavit related to the possession of the drugs and guns from February 1, 2017.
- On May 13, 2013, the defendant was found in possession of 2.84 grams of cocaine base and marijuana.
The sentencing is 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 Acting 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.