Robert Guerrero leaves courthouse in Queens, NY
Robert Guerrero is charged with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. (AP)
Programming note: Tune in to Chronicle Live tonight at 5 & 11 p.m. for details and analysis after Robert Guerrero's arrest on gun charges at JFK airport in New York, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
Boxing star Robert Guerrero was arrested Thursday morning at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged with illegally traveling with an unloaded pistol and three unloaded high capacity bullet magazines.
The New York Daily News first reported the arrest, citing a law enforcement source.
Guerrero is currently being held in Queens Criminal Court on one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If Guerrero is convicted, he can potentially face up to four years in prison.
Guerrero, a Gilroy native who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday, had completed an East Coast media swing and was on his way back to Las Vegas to continue training for his May 4 fight with Floyd Mayweather on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
With Guerrero's court date set for May 14, the bout will still go on as planned, according to his promoter, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
"It was an innocent oversight on Robert's part," Schaefer told CSNBayArea.com via phone Thursday afternoon. "I spoke to him on the way to the airport after he was released. Everything's fine, and he's looking forward to resuming training for May 4. He has a hearing in New York sometime after that, but this will have no effect on the fight."
According to a press release from the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the weapon and 15-bullet clips were found at about 6:46 a.m. ET during a routine pre-flight check-in at a Delta Airlines ticket booth, when Guerrero presented a locked gun box to an agent.
The box allegedly contained an unloaded Smith and Wesson M&P 40 caliber handgun as well as three unloaded magazines with the capacity to hold 15 rounds of ammunition. Guerrero allegedly told authorities that he possessed the unloaded firearm upon his arrival in New York City from Virginia on Monday.
“I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. "For anyone who hasn’t gotten the message, let me be crystal clear. You cannot bring an unlicensed weapon—loaded or unloaded—into this county or this city. And if you do you will be arrested and face felony charges.”
Brown then cited recent changes on existing New York state law, especially one elevating the possession of an unloaded firearm from a misdemeanor to a felony.
“Earlier this year, New York State enacted the nation’s toughest gun restrictions – the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE ACT),” Brown said. “One provision of that law is that the penalty for possessing an unloaded firearm is raised from being a Class A misdemeanor to being a Class E felony.
[RELATED: Read the entire Queens DA statement here]
“It is therefore more important than ever that if a passenger chooses to travel with a weapon, they should first acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements. Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony—as is what occurred in this case.”
Calls to Guerrero’s team were not immediately returned. Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio told CSNBayArea.com that the network had no comment via email.
NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress spent nearly two years behind bars in a medium security prison in New York state after pleading guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He was released about three months early for good behavior and was placed on two years probation.