In addition to his conviction in the court of public opinion for stupidity in the first degree, Washington Wizards guard Gilbert “Handgun” Arenas could be facing up to 20 years in prison for illegally carrying firearms in the District of Columbia.
Prosecutors could charge Arenas with carrying a handgun without a license, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. And because Arenas admitted that he transported four guns across the Maryland-D.C. line and into the Washington Wizards’ locker room, he could be looking at five years for each weapon, or 20 years.
The District was once the murder capital of the nation and subsequently enacted one of the most stringent gun laws in the nation. This is evidenced by the fact that D.C. has sent nearly 40 percent of the 104 people charged with possessing an unlicensed firearm to prison in 2006, The Washington Post reported, using the most recently available statistics.
Prosecutors have presented evidence to a grand jury to see if there is enough evidence to procure a conviction against the all-star guard and one of the National Basketball Association’s most popular players.
Another thing not playing in Arenas’s favor: his previous gun conviction could figure into the grand jury’s decision. In 2003, police located an unregistered gun in Arenas’ car during a routine traffic stop in San Francisco. The gun was not registered in California but in the state of Arizona, leading to a misdemeanor conviction.
The Post also reports that if the jury decides not to prosecute Arenas, prosecutors could decide to charge Arenas with a misdemeanor of possessing an unregistered gun that could result in a year-long jail term.
This dilemma hatched when Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton allegedly had a gun standoff in the Verizon Center locker room before practice last month, reportedly stemming from an unresolved gambling debt. Arenas has been suspended indefinitely from the NBA pending the outcome of the investigations by the District and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. There is also speculation that the Wizards’ ownership could invoke the morality clause against the goofy guard, thereby invalidating the balance of Arenas’ $111 million contract.
If that were to happen, then Arenas really would be living up to one of his alter egos, Agent Zero.