A federal judge sentenced Jermaine Tindal, 30, to 21 months in federal prison on Monday following his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, the US Atttorney's office in Boston reports.
Tindal was snared by a "cooperating witness" the feds had set up with an apartment in the Mary Ellen McCormack development in South Boston in an attempt to crack down on drug and gun sales.
According to the feds, Tindall agreed to sell the man a a Harrington and Richardson 12-gauge shotgun and five rounds of Remington 12-gauge ammunition on July 19, 2018. According to an affidavit by an ATF agent involved in the investigation:
At approximately 6:26 pm, ATF surveillance observed Tindal walking in the direction of the CW's [informant's] apartment. Tindal was pushing a stroller which was occupied with a child. Shortly after, Tindal, accompanied by a young female child, entered the CW's apartment and placed a black duffle bag on a table for the CW to inspect. Inside the duffle bag, the CW observed a shotgun, as well as five rounds of ammunition. Tindal then handled the shotgun and demonstrated to the CW how to operate the action. The CW then counted $600 of government money in front of Tindal and handed him the full amount. Tindal and the CW then discussed Tindal's upcoming trip to South Carolina where Tindal planned to retrieve additional firearms and return to Massachusetts with them. Tindal then exited the CW's apartment.
Tindal was charged as a felon in possession under federal law because of a previous conviction in South Carolina on a crime punishable by more than one year in prison, specifically being convicted of a crime for the third time - shoplifting a $1.88 condom packet.
Tindal has been in custody since his arrest in September, 2018 on the Mary Ellen McCormack charge, which means he could be released later this year.
In a memorandum to the judge, Tindal's attorney argued he should be released after time served because "evolving Second Amendment law" is that people with prior non-violent crimes, such as stealing $1.88 condom packets, are not ineligible from owning guns and that the "short-barreled shot guns" of the sort Tindal sold are really "pistols" and not heavy-duty firearms as classified under federal law.
This Court should not punish Mr. Tindal any more severely than if he had sold a pistol. If ATF's letter ruling that a pump shotgun with a bird's head grip and a 14-inch barrel is pistol, then there is no material difference between the gun defendant sold and what Mossberg, Remington and others are allowed to sell to consumers across the United States.
Federal prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 30 months, arguing the shotgun is not the sort of weapon protected by the Second Amendment - and because the law on felons in possession does not allow for variances depending on the nature of prior offenses.
Because the particular gun that the defendant possessed, and then sold to a Cooperating Witness, here is one of the weapons that the Supreme Court has held may properly be restricted without offending the Second Amendment, any as-applied challenge by the defendant here would fail.
Affidavit by ATF agent (3.8M PDF).