New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was arrested at the LaGuardia Airport in New York on Thursday night according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. Williams was trying to board a plane when he was arrested at approximately 9:15 p.m. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a Glock 19 handgun, and was then processed by police. Williams does have a permit for the weapon — in the state of Alabama.
"Under state law, an operable firearm with ammunition in close proximity means the gun could be deemed 'loaded' - which potentially carries a much stiffer penalty than illegal possession of an unloaded gun," Cimini wrote.
"Williams was arrested at the Delta check-in counter before going through security. It's unclear how the gun was discovered, but one source described it as an innocent mistake by Williams, who told authorities he was given misinformation about New York gun laws."
Williams' court date is set for March 25 which is when he will be formally charged. With New York having strict gun laws, Williams could be charged with a felony even with the gun being not loaded.
"Mr. Williams respects and follows the law," Williams' attorney, Alex Spiro, said in a statement. "There was allegedly a technical issue with the manner in which the lawfully owned firearm was stored -- and we expect the matter to be resolved shortly."
Williams was drafted by the Jets No. 3 overall last year. In his rookie season, Williams recorded 28 tackles and 2.5 sacks while the team finished with a 7-9 record.
"My goals are to do way better than I did my rookie season," Williams said to NewYorkJets.com after the season. "I see this offseason as a learning experience for all the amount of things I did wrong and the amount of things I learned from, and to come back next season and not do the same things I did my rookie year wrong again."0comments
"I was most proud in my rookie season of all the stuff I learned, and ever since the draft, building on what I began," Williams added. "So that's what I'm doing now, looking toward this offseason and next season and building on the things I've learned."
Williams was a standout player while attending the University of Alabama. During his final season with the Crimson Tide, Williams tallied 18.5 tackles for loss which ranked second in the SEC.