Ramifications for Arenas Could Be Severe

» January 5, 2010 9:28 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Ken Berger reporting for CBS Sports:

Gilbert Arenas’ troubles did not come to an end Monday when he met with prosecutors and police in Washington, D.C., to explain what he was doing with four firearms in the Wizards’ locker room last month. This may only be the beginning, according to two Washington law enforcement officials familiar with the state and federal probe sparked by what the three-time All-Star characterized as “a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate.”

Arenas’ contrition in a joint statement with his attorney after meeting for two hours with police and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is not expected to sway authorities who are weighing whether to charge Arenas with any crimes, the sources said. Neither is the fact that Arenas is claiming to have been unaware that a recent change in the District’s firearms law did not allow the possession of guns outside the home, one of those law enforcement officials said.

“The U.S. Attorney will have to file charges for possession of a pistol without a license,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he did not have jurisdiction over the case. “The prosecutor cannot simply walk away from this case.”

Depending on what facts are discovered in other interviews with possible witnesses to the Dec. 21 locker room confrontation between Arenas and previously obscure guard Javaris Crittenton, the official said one likely outcome would be the following: Arenas, 27, would be permitted to plead guilty to charges of carrying a pistol without a license, a felony that carries a maximum of five years in prison. Such a charge would require a grand jury indictment, which could be acquired quickly since five grand juries are seated at any given time in the District. Any other charges — which could include misdemeanor counts for possession of unregistered firearms, carrying maximum jail time of six months for each count — would be dismissed. In exchange for Arenas’ cooperation and guilty plea, the prosecutor would ask for no jail time.

“Given his prior offense, however, a judge might consider jail time in this case,” one of the law enforcement officials said. “It all depends on which judge he draws.”

To read the full report, click here.

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