San Francisco 49ers all-pro linebacker Aldon Smith has been charged with three felony counts related to possession of illegal weapons and is expected to surrender to authorities later this month, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Smith, 24, is accused of possessing several illegal assault rifles that he allegedly bought in Arizona in December 2011 when the team was playing the Cardinals, according to the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office.
Smith hasn’t played for the 49ers since he left the team indefinitely last month to seek treatment for issues related to an arrest for DUI and marijuana possession.
According to prosecutors, Smith’s weapons came to light during a raucous party at his San Jose home in June 2012. A group of suspected gang members joined the party and got into a confrontation with other guests. Someone fired a gun in Smith’s garage and Smith fired two shots from his .45-caliber handgun to disperse the crowd, authorities claim.
Another friend also shot the gun into the air to scatter the partygoers.Sheriff’s deputies later searched Smith’s home as part of their investigation into the shooting. They reported finding five guns, including an AR-10 rifle and two Bushmaster rifles, during two separate searches.
None of the five weapons were registered with the state and three are illegal assault weapons under state law, prosecutors said.
“California’s prohibition of these powerful weapons is not about hunting or target practice,” Santa Clara District Atty. Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “It is about interrupting the long history of death, carnage and grief assault weapons have inflicted on California communities.”
Smith faces a maximum of four years and four months in jail if convicted on all charges.