Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that current WBC welterweight champion Robert Guerrero has been arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged with illegally traveling with an unloaded pistol and three unloaded high capacity bullet magazines. The weapon and 15-bullet clips were discovered during a routine pre-flight check-in this morning.
District Attorney Brown said, “I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks. 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.”
The District Attorney continued, “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). 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. 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.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Robert J. Guerrero, 30, of Gilroy, California. Guerrero is presently being held pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Guerrero presented a locked gun box to a Delta Airlines ticket agent at about 6:46 a.m. this morning, March 28, 2013, during checkin. It is alleged that the box contained an unloaded Smith and Wesson M&P 40 caliber handgun and three unloaded magazines with the capacity to hold 15 rounds of ammunition. Guerrero allegedly told authorities that he possessed the unloaded firearm when he arrived in New York City from Virginia on Monday, March 25, 2013, and that he has been in New York since that date. The investigation was conducted by the Port Authority Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Kew Gardens I Bureau, which is under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Francesco Catarisano, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Trial Division James C. Quinn.
It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.