BOSTON >> A man who shipped guns to former New England Patriots player and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison.
Oscar Hernandez Jr., no relation to Aaron, had pleaded guilty to charges including gun conspiracy and lying to a grand jury.
In a January plea deal, he admitted shipping several guns from Florida to Aaron Hernandez in Massachusetts months before the then-star tight end killed Boston resident Odin Lloyd in 2013.
Oscar Hernandez, who did not supply the murder weapon used in Lloyd’s killing, will receive credit for roughly one year already served in prison.
In court Tuesday, the 24-year-old Orlando resident apologized for his actions and promised to find a job so he can provide for his family when he’s released.
“There is no question that I deserve my punishment,” he said. “I made a bad choice, and I have learned from that bad choice.”
Hernandez’s public defender Charles McGinty had sought a sentence of one year and one day. Prosecutors had sought a harsher punishment of two years and eight months that could serve as a deterrent to illegal gun sales.
“He’s no different than a street gun dealer looking for a profit,” said Glenn MacKinlay, an assistant U.S. attorney. “People like Oscar Hernandez are part of the problem of illegal guns ending up in the hands of people who use them.”
McGinty pushed back at that argument, saying his client was not selling guns “willy-nilly” but to a celebrity who he expected would use them responsibly. He also noted that Oscar Hernandez was a first-time offender.
“This conduct was singular,” McGinty said. “The chance of him engaging in this kind of conduct again is slim to none.”
U.S. District Court Judge William Young, in sentencing Oscar Hernandez, said shipping illegal guns is among the most severe crimes the federal court deals with. He said Hernandez had only compounded that crime by lying and encouraging others to lie under oath about it.
In a related development, Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers are due back in court May 21 to face two more murder charges.
But Hernandez, who is already serving life in prison without parole, is not expected at the pretrial hearing in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which are related to a 2012 shooting in Boston.
Prosecutors say Hernandez killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after he felt the men disrespected him at a nightclub.
The hearing will be the first court proceeding in the case since Hernandez was tried, convicted and sentenced last month in Lloyd’s murder.