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First criminal trial with jury convicts on gun possesion

April 18, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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In the first jury trial in Brooklyn state court since March 2020, a 29-year-old Brooklyn man was convicted of possessing an illegal weapon, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Friday. 

Strict COVID protocols were observed throughout the proceedings as planned, and additional trials are expected to commence this month, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. 

Marc Ferdinand, 29, of Canarsie, was convicted Thursday of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Heidi Cesare. He is facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced on May 28, 2021.

On Jan. 23, 2020, at 11:45 a.m., Ferdinand, driving a 2016 Mercedes Benz, Ferdinand, was stopped by police near the intersection of Avenue L and East 98th Street in Canarsie for excessively tinted windows, according to court testimony. 

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Heidi Cesare. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

Police discovered that he was driving with a suspended license and he was subsequently placed under arrest. When he was searched in the 69th Precinct stationhouse, a loaded .380 caliber pistol was found in his underwear. Swabs taken from the gun later matched the defendant’s DNA.  

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The eight-day trial was the first criminal or civil trial to be held with a jury in Brooklyn in over a year. COVID-19 protocols were in place, with all witnesses wearing transparent face masks, jurors spread out throughout the courtroom, and the proceedings being broadcast on closed circuit television to an overflow courtroom on a different floor. 

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “With this verdict, the defendant has been held accountable for possessing a loaded illegal gun on our streets. My dedicated prosecutors are ready to continue conducting trials, especially of cases involving gun-related and violent offenses, as we focus on keeping Brooklyn safe and reducing gun violence.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Da Rin, of the District Attorney’s Red Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patrick L. O’Connor, chief of the District Attorney’s Gun Violence Suppression Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Karla Watson, Chief of the Red Zone Trial Bureau.

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