Patriots DB Jones pleads not guilty to 9 gun charges

Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Associated Press

New England Patriots defensive back Jack Jones pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to nine counts of weapons violations in connection with his arrest at a Logan Airport security checkpoint with two loaded guns in his carry-on bag.

Jones was charged with two counts each of unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of a large-capacity magazine and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card. He was also charged with an airport security violation. Jones was released on a $30,000 cash bail pending an Aug. 18 probable cause hearing, his attorney, Rosemary Scapicchio, said.

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Scapicchio said Jones has been cooperative and respectful throughout the process, bristling at media reports that portray him as a “thug” and compare him to “other people.”

Asked if she was referring to Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots player who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013 — and acquitted in a separate double-homicide — Scapicchio declined to elaborate.

“All Mr. Jones wants to do is play football and support his family,” she said. “How he’s been portrayed in some of the media is not even remotely borne out. He’s not a thug, he’s not a wannabe gang member. The comparisons to other people are unwarranted and unfair.”

A Patriots spokesman said the team was not expected to comment until the legal issues are resolved.

Massachusetts State Police were called to the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at the Boston airport on Friday after two firearms were found in a traveler’s carry-on luggage. Police said they identified the person as Jones and arrested him.

Jones’ troubles predate his arrival in New England.

While in college, he was kicked off the Southern California football team in 2018 after two seasons because of academic issues. Later that year he served 45 days of house arrest after police said he burglarized a Panda Express. After transferring to Arizona State, Jones was suspended for most of the 2020 season because of a violation of team rules.

The Patriots drafted Jones in the fourth round in 2022 and he played in 13 games, starting two, with 30 tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He was suspended for two games at the end of the season for reasons that coach Bill Belichick did not disclose.

Hernandez’s 2013 arrest led to a reckoning within the Patriots organization, with the usually reticent Belichick promising to improve how the team evaluates players “to build a winning football team, to be a strong pillar in the community and be a team that our fans can be proud of.”