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Former Englewood basketball phenom Sean Banks jailed yet again

Photo Credit: by Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: by Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: by Mary K. Miraglia

ANOTHER CVP EXCLUSIVE : It may be hard for some to fathom, but onetime pro basketball sure thing Sean Anthony Banks is back in the Bergen County Jail for the fourth time in four months — just days after being indicted on other charges — as he awaits trials that could send him to state prison for a long time.

News of the Englewood pot bust comes on the same day that associates of his from the notorious “James Bond Gang” are in court in Hackensack.

Banks, 28, was free on $15,000 bail after a March pot arrest when he was picked up Friday on similar charges.

Just three days earlier, a grand jury in Bergen County indicted him in connection with a Jan. 15 incident in which police said he threatened the father of a woman he’d been seeing with a broomstick and a belt. Banks posted a combined $100,000 bail and was released — only to be arrested again on March 4.

Banks had been out on bail following a domestic violence incident 10 days before Christmas when the alleged attack occurred. It led to last week’s indictment on charges of  criminal restraint, attempted assault and weapons possession.

Banks “became involved in a dispute with the father of a female he had been dating at one point,” Englewood Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.

The father told police he caught Banks trying to force open a window to his house and confronted him. Banks demanded to see the woman, and when the father refused, he said, Banks “threatened to do him harm and left.”

Banks already was in serious trouble after being charged along with other members of a Bond Gang offshoot following a high-speed chase and crash while being pursued by police after break-ins at homes in Sparta and Jefferson Township.

He also faces complaints of hindering prosecution, obstruction, criminal mischief and other counts from previous cases — and those are just in Englewood. Additional charges are pending elsewhere, including in Wayne stemming from a July 2011 incident, records show.

Akeem Boone

The New Orleans Hornets signed the 6-foot-8-inch Bergen Catholic star as an undrafted rookie free agent in the summer of 2005 and assigned him to the team’s developmental affiliate in Tulsa after he averaged four points a game in pre-season and spend the first seven games of the NBA season on the inactive list.

After the Hornets waived him, Banks played in Puerto Rico and with other U.S. developmental teams. He’d become a father and had hopes of playing for Great Britain’s national team. His last great hurrah was scoring 14 points in a D-League All-Star game five years ago.

The naturally gifted Banks wasn’t just any player coming out of Bergen County. At Memphis University, he was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2004, scoring 17.4 points per game and grabbing 6.5 rebounds for a major college program.

But things went sour after Banks left school, unable to meet the academic requirements.

His criminal behavior began simply, with charges of drunk driving and the gang-related marking of a girl with a cigarette.

Then it got worse.

Banks was in an SUV that took off after being stopped for speeding in August 2011 a short time after a pair of nearby burglaries.

The vehicle flipped during the chase, trapping Banks and three other men with him inside. Inside the SUV, police said, they recovered more than $20,000 worth of stolen goods.

Englewood Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe
(CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo by Mary K. Miraglia)

The occupants were later identified by Englewood police as major area burglars: Aasim Boone and his brother, Akeem “Light” Boone, both of Englewood, and Jerry Montgomery of Teaneck.

Akeem Boone had barely been out of state prison two years when the incident occurred, records showed.

The brothers rejected separate plea deals – one that would have put the elder Boone (who drove the SUV) behind bars for 15 years and the other that would have meant a five-year sentence for Akeem.

Both were in court this afternoon as their respective cases progress through the court system.

Montgomery was offered a five-year deal, too, in addition to a four-year sentence he was already facing for a burglary conviction in Somerset County.

A judge assigned Banks a public defender after his lawyer said he couldn’t get through to him – or get paid.

Authorities identified him, the Boone brothers and Montgomery as copycats of the Teaneck/Englewood area’s “James Bond Gang,” which targeted upscale homes, kept an electronic ear out for police on scanners, then kicked or shouldered in front doors, cut the phone lines, dashed to master bedrooms and made off with jewelry and other valuables — after spending no more than a few minutes inside, if that long.

By the time alarm companies checked on the problem and alerted police, the burglars were gone ( SEE BELOW ).

The chase and arrest officially put the Boone brothers and other members of a large-scale burglary crew with criminal pasts on the radar of law enforcement agencies that stretched from Morris to Fairfield County in Connecticut.

Last October, members of a multi-jurisdictional task force that had been tailing them burst into a Williams Street garage near the King Gardens apartment complex in Englewood and grabbed Akeem Boone – at the time a wanted felon — and other accused crew members.

Another defendant, Renando L. Sheffield, turned himself in weeks later after detectives tracked him down.

Sheffield and Aasim Boone were free on bail pending trial on charges of burglarizing an Old Tappan home in November 2011.

JAMES BOND GANG:

The “James Bond Gang,” which dates back to the late 1980s and was first publicized by the author of this story (Jerry DeMarco), got its name from a tricked-out BMW that had secret compartments and a flip-up license plate that hid a quartet of blinding halogen lights used to thwart police. The FBI said the car also had an oil slick-squirting pipe behind the bumper.

JAMES BOND GANG VIDEO Pt. 1:

JAMES BOND GANG VIDEO Pt. 2:

As the gang’s notoriety grew, and the break-ins piled up throughout Bergen County, detectives in various municipalities teamed up with county prosecutor’s investigators – and, eventually, the FBI – to take down the crew.

And they did it in a unique way – snagging their Diamond District fences, including one whom the gang kept on returner.

Although the four key members and some of their associates went to federal prison, several returned to action once they were released – only to be arrested and sent back to prison.

Daniel “Tokyo” Gaston took up the mantle, leading hundreds of break-ins, including one of Patrick Ewing’s Englewood Cliffs home – and another, in Alpine, in which a state-record $830,000 in cash was swiped. Although not technically a Bond Gang member, Gatson – who’s serving a 30-year stretch in state prison – fit the same profile.

RELATED:

James Bond Gang co-defendant hassles judge in court hearing
Former Englewood basketball phenom Sean Banks in trouble again
Cops bust in on burglars opening safe, nab Englewood fugitive
Authorities nab Englewood fugitive
Suspects in Englewood crackdown sold drugs near police station, in town park, elsewhere, chief says
Latest James Bond Gang burglars don’t compare to the originals — yet

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