On Friday night, a report emerged that New England Patriots Starting CB Jack Jones was arrested on 5 separate charges including: 2 counts of possession of a concealed weapon in a secure area of an airport, 2 counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, 2 counts unlawful possession of a firearm, 2 counts carrying a loaded firearm, and 2 counts possession of a large capacity feeding device. These charges are troubling because at least two of the charges include a minimum mandatory sentence. First, the unlawful possession of a firearm triggers an eighteen month minimum mandatory sentence. Additionally, the possession of a large capacity feeding device (“magazine clip”) carries with it 2.5 years in prison to 10 years in prison minimum mandatory sentence (“min man”). Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 269 § 10(m). A lot has been said about Jack Jones past transgressions, but we aren’t focused on that, we are focused on this case as hand.
What do we know about the facts of the case? According to a tweet from Andrew Callahan, “TSA was alerted to a report of two loaded firearms at a security checkpoint. Upon arrival, a TSA Agent informed Trooper Hendry of the Massachusetts State Police that a black duffel bag containing two loaded firearms and two additional loaded magazines were placed into the X-ray machine. After attempting to speak to the suspect (Jack Jones), the Trooper opened the bag and observed an unlocked black Glock handgun box. There was a white tag attached to the black duffel bag with the words “UFC” and” Jack, Jones”. Inside the black duffel bag there were multiple pairs of socks and other articles of clothing that appeared to be men’s clothing.”
I have said this previously, but I will say it again, “FACTS. WIN. CASES.” This is a well written police report (Some police reports are very lazy and sloppy and as a criminal defense attorney I have a field day with those). The facts that the prosecution will zero in on will be the bag had a tag with his name “Jack Jones” on it, and there appeared be “men’s clothing”. As this is Logan Airport, there is going to be surveillance video galore. My questions are, “Is there surveillance video of Jones dropping off that bag at checked baggage or in security? My guess is, yes. Were the guns on top of everything meaning the individual who zipped up the bag would have seen the guns? Was Jack Jones traveling with anyone else? The statement by his attorney Rosemary Scapicchio that her client “didn’t intend to bring the guns onto the airplane” tells me they likely aren’t going to argue the guns weren’t “his”. Intent likely is not going to be a strong defense in this case. Firearms cases are about possession. Did Jack Jones possess those items? There is types of possession: Actual possession and constructive possession. If the police run fingerprints on the guns and they match Jack Jones, they Commonwealth can argue actual possession. Additionally, at work, since it appears Jack Jones possessed the black duffel bag, the Commonwealth could also argue constructive possession (meaning he controlled the luggage that allegedly contained the guns).
Where is the case going to go from here? First, as the feeding device is a felony, a grand jury in Suffolk County (Massachusetts) must return a true bill indictment (meaning sufficient evidence to charge Jack Jones). If a true bill is returned (it likely will be), the case will proceed towards trial. There will be a probable cause hearing on August 18, 2023, where the Judge will determine if the charges move forward. It is possible his attorney will attempt a suppression hearing that Trooper Hendry did not have reasonable suspicion to open the duffel bag. However, 4th amendment protections are minimal as the Defendant is in an airport. That is why all bags are put through an X-Ray machine. At this time, Jack Jones is looking at a minimum mandatory of 18 months in prison on the unlawful possession of a firearm and 2.5 years to 10 years in prison for the feeding device (gun magazine). The statement by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office that, “Jones is looking at up to 30 years in prison” is not a statement that screams imminent “slap on the wrist” plea deal. Could this case end in a plea? Absolutely. Anything is possible. However, there is relatively new District Attorney who might be looking to show that he is tough on crime and could make an example of Jack Jones’ case. As such, Jack Jones better strap in because the next several months are going to be tumultuous.
This article is the first in a multi-part series.
Matthew F. Tympanick, Esq. is the Founder/Principal of Tympanick Law, P.A., located in Sarasota, Florida where he focuses his practice on Criminal Defense, Personal Injury Law, and Sports Law. Arrested or Injured? Don’t Panic…Call Tympanick! 1(888)NOPANIC. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Law where he served as a Public Interest Fellow and a Staff Editor on the UMass Law Review. He has appeared nationally on television, radio, and podcasts discussing criminal cases specifically sports criminal cases. He was previously a felony prosecutor where he prosecuted thousands of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. He also has tried over 40 jury and non-jury cases. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @TympanickLaw.