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Prosecutor Offers Accused Bergen Burglars Plea Deals

Julio Ponce, Daniel Gomez, John Cando (far right) with their attorneys
Julio Ponce, Daniel Gomez, John Cando (far right) with their attorneys Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A prosecutor in Hackensack has offered three defendants prison sentences of seven to nine years if they plead guilty to a string of burglaries in nine Bergen County towns.

Julio Ponce, 33, of Clifton, John Cando, 38, of North Bergen and 46-year-old Daniel Gomez of Union City are charged with more than two dozen counts of burglary, theft and conspiracy connected to break-ins at homes in Englewood, Fair Lawn, Franklin Lakes, Hackensack, Maywood, Mahwah, Oakland and River Edge, as well as in Totowa.

They are also charged with residential burglaries in Monmouth, Essex, and Morris counties.

In River Edge, authorities recovered jewelry and cash worth more than $75,000, considered one of the county's largest recoveries of stolen proceeds in recent years.

Ponce is "literally facing the rest of his life in prison due to his record, and the 25 burglaries he is accused of,” Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor David Calviello said Tuesday.

Calviello offered him nine years in state prison, 3½ of which he'd have to serve before being eligible for parole.

His office "will accept nothing less, due to the severity of the charges Mr. Ponce faces,” Calviello told a judge .

The accused wheelman, Daniel Gomez, was “moderately cooperative” when he was arrested, the prosecutor said. He got a seven-year offer -- including three years without parole.

Cando will also receive an offer of seven years when he returns to court next Thursday, Calviello said after the defendant was late for Tuesday's hearing.

Calviello warned the defendants not to try and wrap any charges they've accumulated since their arrests into the burglary case.

“If other indictments develop later, these offers won’t include those crimes.”

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