Ex-NBA Player Sebastian Telfair Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison on Gun Charge

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- NOVEMBER 26: Sebastian Telfair #31 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives against the Utah Jazz on November 26, 2014 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison Monday on a gun possession charge, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Telfair was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in April. He was arrested in July 2017 after police found a loaded gun in his pickup truck during a traffic stop in Prospect Heights.  

According to the Brooklyn DA's office, Telfair was pulled over after making a U-turn off a median in a pickup truck with his headlights off. When officers approached the truck, "the smell of marijuana was present, as was a lit marijuana cigarette in the car’s console, according to testimony."

When police searched the vehicle, they found "a loaded .45 caliber gun in the console" among other weapons.

"This defendant exercised his right to a jury trial and was found guilty of possessing an illegal firearm," Gonzalez said in a statement Monday. "The mandatory prison sentence he received today is required by law and he has now been held accountable for the unlawful conduct."

Telfair's attorney, Richard Southard, said in June he had enhanced video that showed one of the officers who testified against Telfair perjured himself.

"The idea is that it goes to the credibility of the officer but also... the fact that he committed perjury in grand jury, pretrial, and (during) trial," Southard told a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge, per Olivia Bensimon and Lia Eustachewich of the New York Post.

Telfair was also arrested in 2007 and charged with criminal possession of a weapon. He pleaded guilty in that case and served three years probation.

Telfair, 34, spent 10 seasons in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder. 

He was considered a basketball prodigy as a young player in New York City, and his senior season at Abraham Lincoln High School was famously documented in Through the Fire. He was the No. 13 pick by the Trail Blazers in the 2004 NBA draft straight out of high school, though he never lived up to his phenom billing in his NBA career. 

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