WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was charged with felony gun possession on Thursday in connection with a Dec. 21 locker room confrontation with a teammate.
Prosecutors charged Arenas with one count of carrying a pistol without a license, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charges were filed in D.C. Superior Court in an "information," a document that often signals a plea deal.
Arenas' lawyer and the team had no immediate comment.
Arenas, who has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA pending the investigation, has said he kept multiple guns in his locker at the Verizon Center. The 28-year-old three-time NBA All-Star said he wanted to keep them away from his children and didn't know it was illegal.
He says he took them out of the locker on Dec. 21 in a "misguided effort to play a joke" on a teammate.
League officials have said the locker-room incident stemmed from a card-game dispute between Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton on a plane trip two days earlier.
At least seven Wizards players and coach Flip Saunders have appeared before a grand jury or been questioned by authorities.
Earlier Thursday, police searched for a gun at Crittenton's apartment in Virginia but did not seize any evidence, according to court documents.
It's unclear what role Crittenton played in the incident and whether he had a gun. He has kept a low profile and has said he did nothing wrong.
Police were specifically looking for a silver or chrome colored semiautomatic handgun with a black handle. A search warrant indicated police are investigating crimes including brandishing a weapon and violating the District of Columbia's gun laws.
Crittenton's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Crittenton was there during the search.
"It went as smooth as it could have gone," Bartelstein said.
Crittenton has been excused by the team from practices and games while authorities investigate.
Associated Press Writer Matthew Barakat in Arlington, Virginia, and AP Sports Writer Joseph White in Washington contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.