More than 10 years ago, Edward Mongon was sentenced to 13 years in prison as the leader of the highly organized "Conrail Boys," theft ring that netted more than $5 million in merchandise stolen from trains passing through North Jersey.
At the time, authorities thought they had ended the gang's 11-year crime spree, having convicted 24 people who they said were members of the gang.
Today Mongon was back in front of a judge, this time one of three men authorities say revived the Conrail Boys cargo theft gang. Four other men and a woman were charged as part of the ring and also appeared in Central Judicial Processing court.
Mongon, 40, of North Bergen, John Forcum, 37, of Parsippany, and Elie Kammo of Union City were charged with having more than $75,000 worth of stolen property in their possession, according to the criminal complaints.
Bail for Mongon and Forcum was set at $100,000 cash or bond; and Kammo's bail was set at $55,000 cash or bond bail by Judge Kelly Austin. Court officials say Forcum has 20 prior arrests in New Jersey. Electronic court records show that Mongon has multiple convictions dating back to the early 1990s.
Others charged today are Jersey City residents Denis Ford, 40, Amparo Diaz-Cruz, 45, Marciano Vazquez and Ramy Darwiche, 25; and Andrez Gonzalez, 56, of Cliffside Park.
It could not be immediately determined when Mongon was released from prison.
At the time of Mongon's sentencing, a spokesman for the state Division of Crimimal Justice called the Conrail Boys an "extensive, well-coordinated criminal cartel" that stole millions of dollars in merchandise and cash from freight trains in North Jersey.
In 2004 authorities described how gang's operation from 1992 to 2003:
Members of the gang would leap onto slow-moving trains and, using bolt cutters and other tools, break into the truck trailers and shipping containers that held merchandise.
The goods were thrown off the train onto the side of the tracks as the train continued moving. Accomplices on the ground gathered the stolen items and moved them to a secret collection point where they were sold to local fences.