NEWARK, N.J. – A North Bergen, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 300 months in prison for his role in a series of at least 27 burglaries and attempted burglaries across six states, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Daniel “Tokyo” Gatson, 44, was previously convicted of one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce and 11 substantive counts of interstate transportation of stolen property. Gatson was convicted following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:
Gatson, his cousin Anthony “T.J.” Hanks, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, and numerous other conspirators, including four defendants who previously pleaded guilty and testified against Gatson and Hanks, took part in at least 27 burglaries and attempted burglaries in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, causing losses of over $3.5 million dollars, mainly in stolen jewelry and cash.
Typically, Gatson, Hanks and others would identify homes in affluent residential neighborhoods and conduct surveillance of the target residences, looking for indications that no one was home.
Before robbing a target residence, Gatson, Hanks and others would cut wires running to and from the residence, including phone, cable, and alarm connections. Then, while wearing masks and gloves, they would forcibly break in to the target residence, usually by smashing through the front door, while a getaway driver remained nearby in a rented minivan, often maintaining contact with one of the burglars inside the target residence by cell phone. Gatson was apprehended on Oct. 11, 2013, while attempting to flush stolen jewelry down a hotel toilet.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Martini sentenced Gatson to three years of supervised release.
Hanks, who was convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce and three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 20, 2016.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.