The charge was possessing a legally owned gun that was unregistered in the state of New Jersey and the man arrested was a former Marine, Sergeant Hisashi Pompey. The arrest took place some six years ago when Pompey was visiting New Jersey from Virginia. When he and some friends went to a nightclub, there was an altercation and one of Pompey’s friends retrieved the gun and was arrested. Pompey was also arrested because the gun was not registered in the state of New Jersey.
On Friday Gov. Chris Christie commuted the prison sentence for Pompey, who served “three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan for which he received medals for bravery.” Prior to Christie commuting the sentence, Pompey was arranging to turn himself into authorities for a minimum 36-month sentence for possession of an unregistered firearm.
Pompey was a military police sergeant who now has a wife and young children to care for. When he found out what Governor Christie had done Pompey said, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, this isn’t April Fools, right? I don’t know how to react. I’m grateful, grateful.”
“I just said, from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Pompey’s wife said. “It’s like you’ve given us our life back.”
Commuting sentences removes the punishment but it does not expunge the arrest from the record. This is not the first time Christie has handed down pardons, especially for offenses involving handguns. In April 2015, Christie pardoned Pennsylvania mother, Shaneen Allen. Allen was arrested in October 2013 for carrying a legally owned handgun in her car that was licensed in Pennsylvania but not recognized in New Jersey.
Governor Christie also pardoned U.S. Marine Joshua Velez, a Massachusetts concealed carry permit holder who was arrested for bringing his 9mm handgun into the state of New Jersey when it was licensed in Massachusetts.