By JEFFREY GOLD, The Associated Press
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A gang that used night-vision binoculars and
other modern technology to steal railroad cargo has been broken up
after a decade of exploits that far surpassed the James Gang and
other fabled outlaws, authorities said Thursday.
The ``Conrail Boyz'' stole millions of dollars of cargo, mostly
consumer goods such as designer clothes. One 2001 robbery netted more
than 17,000 Sony PlayStation units worth $5 million.
In most of the robberies, ``train jumpers'' would board a slow-moving
train to search for valuable cargo, said Steven Hanes, director of
Norfolk Southern's police force. Other gang members would pose as
rail workers to find out where the train was stopping.
The goods would be unloaded, then peddled on the street or in shops.
Some gang members were arrested repeatedly over the years, but they
avoided long jail terms because they did not carry weapons.
The Conrail Boyz were the ``largest single gang ever to attack North
American railroads,'' Hanes said, citing the size of their
membership, their longevity and the value of the stolen merchandise.
Authorities had arrested 13 people as of Thursday and were searching
for 11 others described as gang members. They said they are still
pursuing leads to determine if an insider tipped the gang to
The indictments issued Tuesday say the gang was led by Edward Mongon,
28, of Union City, who used relatives to launder the proceeds. He was
charged with 17 counts, including racketeering and money laundering,
which carry up to 20 years in prison each. He remained at large
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His parents, Martin and Ersilia Mongon of Hoboken, were arrested in
Pennsylvania. They face a money laundering charge. Prosecutors said
they did not yet know whether the Mongons had attorneys.