BC-US--Ex-NBA Player Sentenced, 5th Ld-Writethru,282

Ex-NBA player Sebastian Telfair gets prison time in gun case

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Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison in a New York City gun case. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Monday that Telfair received the term for his conviction in April on a gun-possession charge. Police had arrested the 34-year-old Telfair in 2017 after finding a loaded pistol in his pickup truck during a traffic stop.

NEW YORK (AP) — Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair was sentenced on Monday to 3 1/2 years in prison in his New York City gun case.

Telfair — a once highly touted point guard with a disappointing pro basketball career and a history of brushes with the law — had been convicted earlier this year of carrying a loaded handgun in his pickup truck.

"The mandatory prison sentence he received today is required by law and he has now been held accountable for the unlawful conduct," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.

There was no immediate response to a phone message on Monday seeking comment from Telfair's attorney.

Gonzalez said that a jury heard testimony describing how at 2:50 a.m. on June 11, 2017, officers in an unmarked police car spotted a Ford F-150 parked on a center median in Brooklyn with the 34-year-old Telfair at the wheel.

The officers stopped the truck after it made a U-turn in front of them and drove off with no headlights on. Seeing a lit marijuana cigarette in the console, they said they searched the vehicle and found a loaded .45-caliber pistol inside.

The Brooklyn-born Telfair was a first-round draft pick out of high school in 2004. He started with the Portland Trail Blazers and spent time with the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and other teams before ending his career in China in 2014.

Telfair and a friend were arrested in 2007 after a traffic stop during which police found a loaded handgun in the vehicle. He pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to three years' probation.

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This story has been corrected to show Telfair's age is 34, not 33.

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