EXCLUSIVE: Protesting to the end that he’d endured “unfair treatment,” a member of a Bergen County burglary crew was sentenced in Hackensack today to eight years in prison for his role in the theft of a safe that police found the thieves trying to bust open in an Englewood garage.
“This is ridiculous, your Honor,” Renando Sheffield told Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Roma. “I’m looking at 10 years for possession of a safe I never seen, I never touched.
”This is not justice. This is not fair,” he said. “I got kids to take care of.”
Roma said he cut Sheffield a break for the hardship his prison time will place on his family by not sentencing him to the 10-year maximum he faced for receiving stolen property. Under today’s sentence, Sheffield is eligible for parole in four years.
“He should get an extended term,” the judge told defense attorney Raymond Beam Jr. “He is a persistent offender.”
Sheffield was one of five original defendants, led by Akeem Boone of Englewood, who were charged in connection with the Oct. 25, 2012 theft of the 600-pound safe.
Members of a multi-jurisdictional task force that stretched from Morris County to Connecticut had been tailing Boone and his gang — first to Greenwich, CT, where the burglary was committed, and then back to Englewood’s 4th Ward – that night.
As they watched, the crew members pulled in behind a row of multi-family homes on William Street near the King Gardens apartment complex and began “pounding, prying and pulling on the safe, trying to get it open,” Englewood Detective Capt. Timothy Torell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.
After summoning uniformed officers from Englewood and Teaneck, the task force burst in.
The garage was rented by Robert Hastu, who became a cooperating witness against the others.
Boone, the last purported leader of what was once the infamous James Bond Gang of burglars, and co-defendant Jamie Singletary accepted plea deals rather than go to trial. Boone was sentenced to four years in prison in August.
Sheffield and two others — Marc Rainey and Jerelle Bordeaux — were tried together and convicted in July.
Beam today compared his client to a major league baseball player.
“Judge, he’s played baseball for a number of years,” the defense attorney told Roma, “but that doesn’t mean he’s a serious criminal. He’s basically a pain in the can because he’s a drug addict.
“I’m not saying that makes it OK, but it kind of says where his problem is.”
Rainey and Bordeaux were more “Hall of Fame-worthy” because of their rap sheets, he added.
The judge wasn’t buying it. Sheffield has a string of convictions dating back a decade, he said.
Assistant Bergen County David Prosecutor Calviello noted that Sheffield was the one who arranged for the use of Hastu’s garage. His participation, despite already having a serious record, makes him the exact type of defendant extended terms were designed for, the prosecutor said.
“He’s the oldest of all six defendants. He should be the most mature [and] should have steered the others away from their unlawful conduct,” Calviello said.
“If you commit a felony of a fourth degree or higher crime, and you do it twice, and you do it within 10 years of your first conviction, you are eligible for the extended term,” the prosecutor added.
“Guess what?” Calviello said. “He’s eligible.”
Most convicts either express remorse or say nothing, in the hope that a judge won’t throw the book at them, as the expression goes.
Sheffield, however, continued his insistence that he’d been railroaded — even as he awaits another trial with Akeem Boone’s brother, Aasim, for a burglary in Old Tappan. Sheffield was free on bail in connection with that arrest when he was grabbed in the safe heist.
“There’s no way I got a fair trial from day one,” he told Roma. “I wasn’t even with these men. I was in my house with my kids. I didn’t go to Connecticut, Old Tappan.
“I can’t control another man’s actions. If I walk into a store with someone and he puts something in his pocket, am I responsible?” Sheffield asked.
“He doesn’t get it,” Calviello responded.
STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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BACKGROUND IN THE CASE:
4 years for ‘James Bond Gang’ successor in Connecticut safe theft
EXCLUSIVE: The last purported leader of what was once the infamous James Bond Gang of burglars was sentenced today to an agreed-upon four years in prison without parole in exchange for admitting his role in the theft of a safe from a Connecticut home that police found crew members trying to crack open in an Englewood garage. READ MORE….
Englewood burglary crew members convicted in heist of safe
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Three remaining members of the infamous Boone burglary gang were convicted by a jury in Hackensack today for their roles in the theft of a 600-pound safe from Connecticut that a special investigative task force caught them trying to crack open in an Englewood garage. READ MORE….
Surprise admission in Englewood burglary trial: ‘I was drinking for 10 hours’
ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: The trial of the remaining members of the infamous Boone burglary gang took a startling turn yesterday when a key witness for prosecutors suddenly confessed that he’d been drinking for 10 hours — and not only a short time — before he was arrested along with five alleged crew members during an October 2012 raid on an Englewood garage he rented. READ MORE….
Hackensack ‘James Bond Gang’ successor agrees to 4 years for Connecticut safe robbery
EXCLUSIVE: The last purported leader of what was once the infamous James Bond Gang of burglars agreed to spend four years in prison without parole today in exchange for admitting his role in the theft of a safe from a Connecticut home that police found them trying to crack open in an Englewood garage. READ MORE….
Plea deal falls through, ‘Bond gang’ members going to trial
ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: Three remaining members of an offshoot of the infamous “James Bond Gang” of burglars are headed to trial after a last-minute plea agreement fell through this afternoon. READ MORE….
Cops bust in on burglars opening safe, nab Englewood fugitive
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Members of a large-scale burglary crew with criminal pasts were trying to open a stolen safe in an Englewood garage last night when a multi-jurisdictional task force that stretched from Morris County to Connecticut burst in, grabbing a wanted felon, among others. READ MORE….
Teaneck burglar not ‘ringleader’ of James Bond Gang
EDITORIAL: Despite what’s been published elsewhere, an associate of the notorious James Bond Gang who was arrested after a home burglary in Sparta the other night isn’t the current ringleader. In fact, if you want to know the truth: There isn’t even a ring. READ MORE….
The original James Bond Gang: stirred and shaken
SPECIAL REPORT: 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 what became their burglary crew’s nickname. READ MORE….