Saturday, October 24, 2020

CBL/BFL Associate Going To Prison For 9 Years On Racketeering, Drug, And Gun Charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Mikel Lowe, aka L-O, 25, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, was sentenced to serve 108 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul C. Parisi and Seth T. Molisani, who handled the case, stated between 2010 and August 28, 2018, the defendant was an associate with the CBL/BFL Gang, which stands for, among other things, “Cash Been Long” and “Brothers for Life.” He conspired with several other associates to sell drugs, commit robbery, retaliate against witnesses, and commit assault. CBL/BFL operated within a specifically defined geographic area on the East side of Buffalo. Gang members and associates engaged in drug trafficking to generate income and violent crimes to maintain control over their territory.

On January 8, 2012, the defendant, brandishing a firearm, approached Victim A at a gas station on Jefferson Avenue and demanded Victim A’s property. Victim A complied and provided defendant with jewelry that Victim A was wearing. Victim B, having witnessed the foregoing incident, subsequently testified about it in Buffalo City Court.  Thereafter, in March of 2012, Victims A and B were traveling in a vehicle in the Towne Gardens neighborhood when the defendant began following them in a separate vehicle, displayed a firearm in violation of a Buffalo City Court order of protection, and threatened to cause physical injuries to Victims A and B because of their status as witnesses to the January robbery. 

Between March 2015 and 2017, an individual working with investigators met the defendant in the City of Buffalo at various locations, such as the Towne Gardens, for the purposes of purchasing heroin. The individual met the defendant on an almost daily basis and purchased at least .1 grams of heroin on each occasion and purchased one gram of heroin at least 100 times. 

On February 28, 2017, the defendant was in the Towne Gardens when Buffalo Police Officers observed him with a loaded 9mm firearm. The officers chased Lowe and arrested him. In addition to the firearm, the defendant was found in possession of quantities of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl and crack cocaine, and packaging for the distribution of heroin and fentanyl.

On June 8, 2017, FBI agents attempted to arrest Lowe. Agents surrounded 1190 East Lovejoy Street in Buffalo and knocked to announce their presence. Soon after, an agent observed an object being thrown from 1190 East Lovejoy toward the building next door. The defendant was arrested and 1190 East Lovejoy was searched. Agents recovered two boxes of 9mm ammunition, a quantity of marijuana, a .45 caliber pistol, two digital scales, a blender, a scale clap, a bottle of Vitablend, commonly used to mix narcotics, packaging material for heroin and marijuana, a razor blade. On the roof of the building next door, agents recovered a shotgun with ammunition. The recovered pistol contained a DNA profile that matched Lowe’s DNA profile. The recovered shotgun contained a DNA profile mixture of three individuals and the defendant could not be excluded from the mixture.

Lowe is one of 13 members and associates of the CBL/BFL Gang to be convicted in this case. He is the 11th to be sentenced. 

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 Chief Mark Packard; the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina; 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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