EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Akeem “Light” Boone has been shot and was nearly killed another time, but the ex-con from Englewood’s intensely violent life could soon end another way: A successor to the infamous “James Bond Gang” burglary crew, Boone already was facing charges in two counties when Englewood police obtained an arrest warrant in a massive anti-crime sweep announced this week.
(ABOVE: Englewood Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe: CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo by Mary K. Miraglia. MUGSHOTS : Akeem Boone, Stephanie Cotto)
Boone wasn’t around when police found 20 grams of crack cocaine and a loaded handgun reported stolen during the burglary of a North Carolina sporting goods store in his Hackensack apartment a month ago.
A manhunt has been under way ever since.
Earlier today, an accused drug dealer who was among 18 people identified in the crackdown turned herself in to police, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Police had been looking for Stephanie Cotto, 18, of Teaneck, since Sept. 27. She’s now being held in the Bergen County Jail on marijuana distribution charges.
- YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A woman who Englewood police said sold Ecstasy “mollies” from an ice cream concession stand near the town pool, a man charged with shooting at an occupied car and another accused of running a gambling joint out of his home are among 18 people charged as part of a massive anti-crime crackdown the past three months, Chief Arthur O’Keefe announced Wednesday. READ MORE….
Still in the wind, however, was Boone.
Barely out of state prison two years, he was arrested last year, along with his brother, Aasim (“Sean”) and former pro basketball bust Sean Banks of Englewood, following a high-speed chase that ended when their SUV flipped. Another Bond gang associate, Jerry Montgomery of Teaneck, also was with them.
Authorities said the quartet had $20,000 in jewelry and other booty with them from burglarized homes in Sparta and Jefferson Township.
The bust was one of many for Boone, who, at 28, has a lengthy rap sheet, including convictions for weapons possession and drug dealing that sent him to prison for two years from 2007-2009.
Boone’s right arm was damaged several years ago when he was shot in Washington Heights. He was nearly hit again in March 2003 when a gunman came up to a car he was sitting in at the Rock Creek Terrace apartments in Englewood and began shooting.
The driver survived bullets in the head and neck, while Boone – who wasn’t struck — was arrested for carrying crack.
Authorities have associated Boone, his brother and Montgomery with the Bond Gang, founded nearly 25 years ago by a quartet of burglars who hit luxury homes in New Jersey, New York and along the East Coast.
FBI agents tagged the original crew with the nickname because of a tricked-out BMW designed by founding member Terence Lawton.
Lawton, who owned an Englewood detailing garage, rigged the car with a remote-controlled drawer tucked under the dashboard, a cluster of halogen lights that emerged from behind a hinged rear license plate and a grease jet positioned next to the tailpipe.
One night, several original Bond members were being chased by Emerson police in Hackensack. Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino (then an Emerson officer) told CLIFFVIEW PILOT the rear license plate flipped down, revealing a quartet of halogens that blinded him and his partner as the Beamer sped off.
- They were slick as the oil rigged to pour from behind their souped-up BMW, their cleverness as blinding as the license-plate halogens that baffled police pursuers. SEE: JAMES BOND GANG
The newer crew didn’t use gadgetry, but the M.O. was the same: case a neighborhood in a high-end car that won’t attract attention, bust through the front door, disable the alarm system, head straight to master bedroom and bolt with whatever cash and jewelry they can find before police have a chance to get there.
- David Kirkland was in his mid-20s when he hooked up with Teaneck High School buddy Terence Lawton, who owned a detailing shop in Englewood where he created a car responsible for their burglary crew’s nickname. Now, more than two decades later, North Jersey police are chasing a loose-knit bunch of criminals with roots in the infamous James Bond Gang. SEE: Latest James Bond Gang burglars don’t compare to the originals – yet
Boone was sent to state prison in 2007 after he and his brother led their own gang, using kids as young as 13 to peddle drugs and selling semi-automatic weapons and illegal ammunition. Operating from the Parkview Terrace apartments in Englewood, the Boones stretched their business into Bergenfield, Tenafly and elsewhere.
During the arrests, Akeem Boone fought with members of the Bergen County Narcotics Task Force. Another man, Demetrius Wynn, was found with a handgun, leading to a search of his nearby apartment, Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said. There, he said, detectives found a pair of loaded assault weapons, one of which was reported stolen during the May 1999 burglary of the North Carolina sporting goods shop.
Molinelli said detectives found crack cocaine and a defaced .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun in a safe at the Boones’ apartment, as well as a 9mm handgun at another address.
Aasim Boone is still being held on $250,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail following a burglary arrest last November in Old Tappan, where police called in officers from Harrington Park, River Vale, Westwood and the Bergen County Police K-9 Unit, who found him trying to hop a cab.
The Sussex incident alone could put him back behind bars for up to 15 years.
Sparta police said they pulled over the black 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer, but Aasim Boone hit the gas and sped off, blowing through two red lights and hitting 90 mph at one point, before the truck hit a curb and rolled about a mile away. All four occupants were trapped inside.
They included Montgomery, was out on bail at the time for a Basking Ridge break-in, and Banks, a 2003 Bergen Catholic standout who starred at the University of Memphis before fizzling out with the Hornets, who were then based in New Orleans (now in Charlotte).
Just four months earlier, Orangetown police busted the Boones for having burglary tools in their car after they were stopped while cruising a neighborhood. With them were Montgomery and Jerome Cloud of Englewood, who was arrested on Sept. 12 as part of the recent Englewood crackdown.
Besides Akeem Boone, police were looking for Damond Lamar King, 22, of Shepard Avenue in Englewood, who also was supposed to turn himself in, as well.
King had just spent eight days in the Bergen County Jail when he was released to Paterson authorities in connection with an unspecified crime there. As of Thursday, his whereabouts were unknown.
King was arrested in Fairview in July for possession of drug paraphernalia and in Englewood on Sept. 13 for resisting arrest, eluding and obstruction.
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