A burglar with ties to the Bergen County “James Bond Gang” and two other men appeared in Newark federal court Friday to face charges in connection with more than 40 break-ins across at least five states, authorities said.
Investigators arrested Daniel “Tokyo” Gatson, 41, of North Bergen, Curtis Dent, 34, of Roselle, and Mark Gonzalez, 31, of East Orange, early Friday morning on multiple counts of trafficking stolen goods across state lines and related conspiracy charges, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
In a statement, Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said the arrests were the result of a task force his office formed in December after county detectives honed in on suspects in more than 40 home burglaries in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia.
Gatson, Dent and Gonzalez were part of a burglary crew that stalked homes in wealthy areas before stealing jewelry, safes and cash, authorities alleged.
“Prior to entering the unoccupied residences, members of the crew would cut phone lines and alarm wires on the exterior of the homes,” Molinelli said. “In most cases, one burglar remained outside acting as a lookout, while the other two forcibly entered the residences wearing dark clothes, ski masks and gloves.”
Molinelli said Gatson would use a fence in New York City and sell the stolen jewelry for cash. Gatson is well-known to North Jersey law enforcement and was convicted alongside members of the infamous “James Bond Gang” which used similar techniques in a string of burglaries through the late 90s.
Although law enforcement across North Jersey have since given the 007 nickname to loosely-linked new incarnations of the crew, Gatson was alleged to be a key player in the original group, which included associates from Teaneck and Englewood.
Authorities have said Gatson was part of a crew that pilfered $300,000 worth of valuables from ex-Knicks player Patrick Ewing’s Englewood Cliffs mansion in 1999. He was later convicted on a host of burglary-related charges.
Gatson, Dent and Gonzalez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeleine Cox Arleo in Newark federal on charges of conspiracy to transport, possess, and to receive stolen goods in interstate commerce, and transportation of stolen goods in interstate commerce.
A search of federal court records did not immediately show details on the case.
Molinelli said police from Teaneck, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Paramus and River Edge were among members of the task force.