A U.S. District Court jury has found a Buffalo gang member guilty of two murders near the Towne Gardens Apartments on Buffalo's East Side.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Dalvon Curry, 23, was found guilty of killing Jaquan Sullivan, a rival gang member, in December 2015 and Xavier Wimes, a fellow gang member, on New Year's Day 2017. Curry was also found guilty by the jury on racketeering and narcotics conspiracy counts.
Prosecutors say Curry was a member of the CBL/BFL (Cash Been Long, Brothers For Life) gang and the only gang member charged with murder during a police roundup of 13 gang members. Of those 13, 12 others took plea deals while Curry's case went on to trial.
During the six-week trial, 80 witnesses, some of them fellow gang members, testified against Curry.
“Today’s verdict brings to an end the reign of terror by the CBL/BFL Gang that has tormented the residents living in the Towne Gardens Housing Complex for more than a decade,” stated U.S. Attorney James Kennedy. “These residents deserve to live without the daily fear of drug deals, gunfire and violence. Let this investigation and prosecution serve as a warning to any other group of individuals who any be thinking about picking up where this group left off, we will track you down, we will arrest you and we will prosecute you. Period.”
Authorities say the gang started around 2009 and operated primarily at the Towne Gardens Housing Complex on Jefferson Avenue near William Street. It dealt narcotics including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and other controlled substances.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood said it was a victory.
"I did state back then that they shouldn't sleep too lightly because we would be knocking on their doors and, as you can see, the Towne Gardens gang has been wiped out," Lockwood said. "I would advise the people that are thinking about picking up the pieces, trying to pick up the pieces. Don't do it."
Curry faces up to life in prison and a $10 million fine when he is sentenced.
Police are still investigating the April 2019 murder of Badr Elwaseem, 12, as he watched TV in the family apartment across William Street from Towne Gardens. They say there was some sort of dispute in the plaza parking lot, which apparently led to the shooting.
With the double murder conviction of Curry, Lockwood is looking for a witness to come forward in Elwaseem's murder.
"With this right here, I think that, hopefully, we will get some people to come forward," he said. "Our Homicide Squad is still working on that case every day and I think we are making a lot of headway, as I speak right now with that case. We haven't put that on the back burner. We are still working that as if it were yesterday."
There are large cash rewards for information in the case. Police say they are seeing something of a breakdown in the anti-snitch culture on the East Side, with principal witnesses against Curry other members of his gang. Kennedy said civilian help is essential in a case like Curry.
"Have community members come forward with information and I think this case is a perfect example of the success that we can enjoy when people are courageous in coming forward," Kennedy said. "We will do all that we can to protect them. That's in our interest to do that. It's in their interest to provide that information because they can literally change the community in which they live."
Last week, he said it was a girlfriend and a citizen who helped convict Kenyatta Austin of the murder of a grandmother and her toddler grandson on Grape Street in Buffalo.