TEANECK, N.J. -- Despite his tenth felony conviction, an original member of the James Bond Gang burglary crew from Teaneck sentenced yesterday for plotting from jail to have an associate killed could be out of prison in 2½ years.
“I apologize to my victims for the trauma they experienced, and I apologize to my own family for what I’m going through -- again,” said William Collins, gesturing to relatives sitting behind him in the Hackensack courtroom. "It's hard."
Collins told Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti that his imprisonment will be a hardship on his three school-age children, the oldest 15.
He then smiled wryly -- and even chuckled at times -- as Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor David Calviello recited a lengthy, detailed account of the ex-con's exploits.
This time, Collins used teenagers in a burglary, then rode with them to sell stolen jewelry to a New York City fence, Calviello said.
“We had a GPS in the vehicle and pulled them over crossing the [George Washington B]ridge,” Calivello said. “When they were searched, everybody had money but Collins. The kids had $1,000 each and the driver had $1,800.
“He tried to use that as a defense. But Mr. Collins knows these fences, and he refers customers to them for a cut. So maybe he didn’t get paid that day, but he was going to get paid sometime.”
Collins later plotted from the Bergen County Jail to have the wife of co-defendant Jeffrey Whittaker terrorized and associate Steven Wilson killed to prevent him from testifying, the prosecutor said.
Calviello also cited Collins' Bond Gang background.
Defense attorney Raymond Beam Jr. said little in response, except to “object to virtually everything Mr. Calviello said.”
Foti gave Collins eight years on a conviction for receiving stolen property and four years for witness tampering -- the second of which would run at the same time as the longer sentence.
They leave him eligible for parole in as little as four years and three months.
Subtracting 21 months for time that he's already spent in the jail, he could be free in 30.
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