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Man found guilty of conspiracy, armed robbery, theft and witness tampering in Morris County

MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – A jury has found Melvin Banks, 37, of Somerset guilty on charges that he targeted the owner of a high-end luxury car rental business in a conspiracy to rob the individual of jewelry and other items, according to  Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll

Banks was tried before a jury between Jan. 30 and Feb. 8 and the jury returned a guilty verdict on Feb. 9. He was found guilty of one count of second-degree conspiracy, first-degree armed robbery, third-degree theft of a motor Vehicle and first-degree witness tampering, Carroll said.

On Dec. 4, 2021, Banks was scheduled to return a rented Mercedes S580 to the victim and coordinated its return for 9:00 p.m. that same evening, Carroll said.

Then at 9:31 p.m., the victim was instead robbed at gunpoint by co-defendant Daniel Lind. Lind fired a handgun, mere feet from where the victim sat, and took approximately $100,000 in jewelry and cell phones, Carrol said.

Lind then fled the business and entered the waiting rental vehicle, driven by Banks. In the hours leading up to the robbery, Banks and Lind were captured on surveillance purchasing black gloves and cable ties at a local Home Depot and returning to the scene of the robbery to await the victim’s arrival, Carroll said.

In the months after the robbery, during the subsequent investigation of the crime by Riverdale Police, Banks sent messages threatening harm to the victim and the victim’s family if the victim did not drop the charges, Carroll said.

Prior to trial, Daniel Lind pled guilty to first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 8 years in New Jersey State Prison, Carroll said.

Banks is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22. He is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending sentencing, Carroll said

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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