Justice Charles Quin handed down a 10 year sentence to Michael Fernandez Jefferson for possessing an non-operable firearm pursuant to the Firearms Law.
Jefferson was found guilty in July after a jury agreed with the DPP that he was in possession of an unlicensed firearm. The firearm was found under a bed, wrapped in tissue and stored in a Ziploc bag during a search of his home along with two live round of ammunition. Experts confirmed that the firing pin had been sawed off and it could therefore not fire in that condition. However, Justin Quin agreed that repairing the gun was a possibly and therefore handed down the mandatory sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
Defense attorney Laurence Aiolfi argued for exceptional circumstances to lessen the sentence but that did not convince Justice Quin. Justin Quin did make note of Jefferson being a law-abiding, hardworking young man that only had one prior minor conviction. However, he agreed with the DPP that there was a possibility that the firearm could be repaired to fire. She also argued that in a similar case that involved a replica weapon and a guilty plea the court had found exceptional circumstances. However, this defendant did not plead guilty and this gun could be shot if modified.
“The protection of the public demands nothing less than imposition of the minimum sentence,” he said. “I cannot do anything other than abide by the law,” the judge added, as he then sentenced Jefferson to ten years in HMP Northward.