Fryar Indicted On Weapons Charges

Posted: April 07, 1988

New England Patriots wide receiver Irving Fryar was indicted by a Burlington County Superior Court grand jury this week on three weapons charges stemming from an incident when, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, he was discovered with two loaded guns in Pemberton Borough by a state trooper.

According to the police account, Fryar, 25, a former Mount Holly resident, was stopped by state police on Feb. 14 for speeding in Pemberton Borough. A trooper spotted a survival knife on the driver's side rear seat. The trooper then searched the car and found a loaded shotgun in the trunk and a .38- caliber handgun under the seat cover of the front seat. Police said Fryar also had seven hollow-point bullets, which in New Jersey are illegal for civilians to possess.

Fryar had permits from Massachusetts for both guns, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Stephen G. Raymond. But New Jersey law does not allow guns in the state unless the state issues a permit for them.

The three charges carry a maximum of three to five years in prison and a $7,500 fine. But, Raymond said, a first offender such as Fryar probably would not go to prison.

Fryar's attorney, James Letchford, said Fryar had applied to the county's pre-trial intervention program. Under that program, those who are charged with an offense might perform community service or undergo counseling for six months to a year. If they succeed in the program, the charges are dropped.

Raymond said that for Fryar to qualify, he would have to either find a comparable program near his home or commute to New Jersey. Fryar maintains homes in both Massachusetts and Texas.

Raymond said prosecutors would try to work around Fryar's playing schedule in pursuing the case.

"I don't think it would be fair in this case to interfere with the professional football season," Raymond said. "Not that there is any favoritism. We wouldn't foul with anybody's employment."

Fryar is expected in court in two weeks to answer the charges.

Neither NFL nor Patriots officials would comment on the indictment.

Fryar graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in 1980. He was an all-American at the University of Nebraska and the first selection overall in the 1984 NFL draft.

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