Former Boston Celtics player guilty of illegal gun possession

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A federal jury found a former player for the Boston Celtics guilty Thursday of being a convicted felon in possession of stolen guns.

Nate Driggers got caught up in a federal investigation stemming from the theft of more than 100 Ruger firearms worth a combined $50,000 from a South Side rail yard in April 2015.

The feds accused Driggers in September 2015 of acting as a fence, buying 30 of the stolen guns after they had been lifted from a parked freight train bound for Spokane, Washington.

Driggers was charged with two counts of illegal gun possession, and he went to trial earlier this week. After deliberating for roughly a day, the jury found him guilty of one of the two counts against him.

The feds say one of the stolen Rugers was found inside Driggers’ unmarked store at 127th and Halsted. But Driggers’ lawyers argued he did not have exclusive control of the store. And they took aim at the feds’ key witness, Marcel “Soup” Turner, who helped steal the guns.

Turner pleaded guilty to his role in the theft last September.

During closing arguments Wednesday, Driggers’ attorney called Turner a liar.

“The only one who puts a gun in Mr. Driggers’ hand is Mr. Turner,” said Michael Nash, one of Driggers’ defense attorneys.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Parente acknowledged Turner is “not Mother Teresa.” But he told jurors that Turner’s testimony was corroborated by cell phone records and other evidence.

Driggers was a Corliss High School standout who played 15 games for the Boston Celtics during the 1996-97 season.

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