A potentially fraught legal situation for cornerback Jack Jones got a happy resolution, from the Patriots’ perspective, at least. For now.
That’s because Jones agreed to a plea deal on Tuesday, September 5, to a charge stemming from a June 2023 incident in which he brought two loaded guns into Logan Airport.
At Boston Municipal Court, prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against Jones—nine altogether—in exchange for Jones agreeing to one year of probation and 48 hours of community service.
According to MassLive.com, prosecutors decided not to go to trial because they could not prove that Jones knowingly brought the guns to the airport. From a nolle prosequi obtained by the site, the Suffolk County district attorney wrote:
“The Commonwealth states that consistent with its standard of review in all cases, it has thoroughly reviewed all the evidence in this case and determined that it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Jones had knowledge that he possessed the firearms in his bag at the time of the incident.”
But, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Jones is not out of the woods—he could still face punishment from the NFL.
Jack Jones Moves Focus to 2023 Season
Still, the result should produce a sigh of relief for the Patriots, who were uncertain about Jones’ legal fate—he was facing jail time—and how that might impact his status on the team. Jones is listed on the depth chart as a second-string cornerback, providing depth behind Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones.
Jack Jones, drafted in the fourth round in 2022 out of Arizona State, played in 13 games for New England as a rookie last season and recorded 2 interceptions, including a pick-6 on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 4. The Patriots are expected to have one of the better secondaries in the NFL, in part because of their depth, and Jones is a key there.
Jones did address the charges, however briefly and tangentially, back in August.
“When I get out here on the football field, it’s all ball,” Jones said at the time. “I just come out here to play ball and give it my all. And do what I’m supposed to for the team.”
Jones Faced 9 Gun Charges
Still, Jones’ case has opened a path to some criticism that he got off lightly for what amounted to nine serious charges. They were, according to the AP:
- Two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
- Two counts of carrying a loaded firearm.
- Two counts of possession of a large-capacity feeding device.
- Two counts of possession of ammunition without an ID card.
- One count of airport security violation.
Altogether, Jones was facing 30 years in prison, so dropped charges, a year of probation and two days of community service works out to be a pretty good deal for him.
It’s not the first time that Jones dodged what could have been serious charges. He began his collegiate career at USC, which ended after one year for academic reasons. After that ill-fated season, Jones was arrested for burglarizing a Panda Express, but got off relatively easy on that charge, as he served 45 days of house arrest.
He spent a year at junior college before transferring to Arizona State.