Former U.S. Marine Hisashi Pompey is preparing to serve three years in prison for an unintentional gun crime he didn’t know he was committing. Now, his last hope is petitioning Governor Chris Christie to grant him clemency.
Six years ago, the then-active duty Pompey was visiting family in New Jersey when he went to a Fort Lee nightclub with friends.
He was dressed in his uniform and went to retrieve a bag from one friend’s car when another friend approached him with a bloodied face after a brawl and took Pompey’s gun out of its holster, then took it to a confrontation with police, ABC7 reported.
His friend did not fire any rounds from the gun.
The problem was that Pompey’s gun was registered in Virginia, but laws banned the gun in New Jersey, which is notorious for stringent gun laws.
Oddly enough, before going to the nightclub, Pompey had been conducting a training exercise where he was teaching other Marines how to operate guns. He was also a member of the military police at the time of the incident.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004, which allows certain government personnel to carry concealed weapons across state lines, did not extend to military police at the time of Pompey’s arrest. Congress has since amended the law in January 2013, which came two years late for the ex-Marine.
A jury convicted Pompey of felony possession of an unlawful firearm and sentenced him to three years in prison. Afterward, he was medically discharged from the Marines. His friend who grabbed the gun took a plea deal in the case.
Having lost his appeal in February, Pompey is now scheduled to surrender April 17 unless Christie grants him a pardon.
“I would plead [with] him, ask him, beg him any way I can for his forgiveness because technically I didn’t really commit a crime,” Pompey said during an interview on ‘Off Script with Bruce Johnson.’
According to reports, Pompey filed an application for a pardon, but Christie’s office has declined to comment on the case.
The former Marine is a married father of three, including a 20-month-old daughter. He previously served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the report.
When reporters asked him if he’s ready to report for his prison sentence, he replied: “Not really, mentally I’m trying with support, but not really.”
Pompey’s wife, Stacey, said of the unfortunate ordeal: “It’s hard to process that a man who served our country, who’s almost given his life for the country, is now having to possibly go to jail for a country that he fought for.”
She added, “You’re supposed to look out for your veterans and take care of them, but this same country that he fought for is sending him to jail, and it’s hard to sleep at night thinking this is the country I live in.”
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) April 14, 2017
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