|ESPN.com: Boxing||[Print without images]|
Welterweight contender Robert Guerrero, facing up to four years in prison for carrying an unloaded gun in a New York airport, had his case dismissed on Tuesday after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct in New York State Supreme Court for Queens County.
All of the firearm possession charges were dropped as Guerrero pleaded guilty to a violation -- not a crime -- was fined $250 and ordered to complete 50 hours of community service, which he will be allowed to perform in his home state of California.
"I'm pleased that the district attorney's office considered my case carefully and resolved it fairly," Guerrero said in a statement. "I never intended to violate New York law, but I know that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Lesson learned. I'm happy this incident is behind me and looking forward to returning to the ring as well as serving my community as ordered by the court."
A little more than a month before he was scheduled to challenge pound-for-pound king and welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 4 in a Showtime PPV headliner from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Guerrero was arrested on March 28 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York after attempting to board a flight to Las Vegas with an unloaded gun and three unloaded high-capacity bullet magazines.
Guerrero, who was licensed to own the gun in California but not in New York -- where the gun laws are among the strictest in the United States -- was charged with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Guerrero was released on his own recognizance and returned to Las Vegas to complete his training for the fight with Mayweather, which he lost by lopsided decision. He flew back to New York on Monday for his Tuesday court appearance.
Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), 30, of Gilroy, Calif., had come to New York in late March in connection with various media appearances to promote the fight against Mayweather. When he was checking in at the airport for his flight back to Las Vegas, he disclosed that he had an unloaded gun -- a .40-caliber handgun -- locked in a safe box inside his luggage. At that point, the police were called, as is procedure, and he was arrested.
"The case was resolved and the resolution of the case is consistent with the DA's office policy in that the gun was voluntarily disclosed at the airport and that the gun was legal in his home state," Helen Peterson, a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, told ESPN.com.
She added that the police, still in possession of the gun, would destroy the weapon and the bullet magazines.
"I am very happy for Robert that this is behind him and, as I stated before when he was arrested, this was an honest mistake. I'm happy that the court in New York realized that," said Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer, Guerrero's promoter. "This was a serious situation and nothing to take lightly, but once the DA's office looked at the facts and realized what the facts surrounding this case were, they realized this was an honest mistake."