Tampa Bay Sports Day

Former Wizards Guard Arrested For Massive Quantities Of Illegal Fireworks

Fourth of July is right around the corner, and it looks like NBA all-star, Gilbert Arenas, decided to foolishly stock up on fireworks for the occasion. The former Washington Wizards player was arrested early Thursday morning in Los Angeles when police discovered him driving around with a whole truckload of illegal fireworks—literally. Arenas was initially pulled over around 2:30 a.m. for speeding, but he was also driving without a license.

To make matters worse, he had an excessive amount of firework-packed boxes in plain sight. So many, in fact, that police had to call in backup from the Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb unit. The fireworks were confiscated, and police promptly arrested Arenas and took him in for booking.

Arenas, 31, was the leading point guard for the Washington Wizards from 2003 to 2010, and he’s one of only 20 players in the NBA to achieve 60 or more points scored in a single game. During his time with the Wizards, he received several awards and broke many franchise records which he still holds today, including most three-point field goals scored, most points scored in a single game, and most turnovers in a single game.

Unfortunately, Arenas’ actions off the court weren’t nearly as commendable as his game-time performance. He brought a host of issues to the Wizards, and yesterday’s arrest wasn’t the player’s first run-in with the law. During the 2009-10 season, Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton pulled guns on each other amidst a heated locker room confrontation.

After investigation, it was revealed that neither Arenas nor Crittenton possessed the required permits to legally carry a pistol in the District of Columbia, which was a blatant violation of the governing laws concerning gun control. Both men pled guilty to felony charges in Washington D.C. in January 2010, and were ultimately suspended from the Wizards for the rest of the 09-10 NBA season.

Crittenton never played professional basketball again, and he was recently indicted on charges for murder and gang-related activity. Arenas, on the other hand, did make his way back to the court, but his legal issues were no longer going to fly with the Wizards, and he was traded to the team, Orlando Magic, in 2010. Since being traded, Arenas has played for both the Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies. He currently plays internationally for the Shanghai Sharks.

So, what does this arrest mean for Arenas’ career? Well, aside from racking up a serious criminal record, he could now be facing jail time. Arenas had a ridiculous amount of fireworks in his possession, and the incident took place in California, which has very strict fireworks laws and regulations. Possessing even a couple  dangerous fireworks is a violation of the law and offenders face misdemeanor charges, a fine of up to $1,000, and a up to one year behind bars in a county jail.

The punishments are much more severe for people like Arenas, who are caught in possession of illegal fireworks in large (or massive) quantities. These offenders face felony charges, a fine of up to $50,000, and three years in a California state prison. Arenas was recently released from jail, so now we just have to wait and see if prosecutors choose to move forward with the charges.