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Eastern Pequot Tribal Member Mark Sebastian turned himself in at New London Superior Court today to begin serving a 28-month sentence for illegally transferring pistols to a cousin who was a convicted felon.
The 50-year-old longtime tribal leader kissed his wife goodbye and walked into the courthouse lockup, where he would await transportation to one of the state’s prisons.
Convicted by a New London jury in December 2009, Sebastian had posted a $50,000 bond while appealing his case. The state Appellate Court upheld his conviction in January 2013 and the state Supreme Court denied certification, or refused to hear the case, in May.
A jury had convicted Sebastian of purchasing three pistols in November 2005 with the intent of giving them to his cousin, Calvin Sebastian, a 38-year-old career criminal prohibited from possessing guns. The jury also found Sebastian guilty of giving his cousin the guns along with a fourth pistol at a later date.
Testimony at the trial had revealed that the cousin, who is serving a 16-year sentence for cocaine trafficking, gave information to federal agents with the hope of reducing what could have been a life sentence. Calvin Sebastian had then reluctantly testified against his cousin at trial.
Judge Kevin P. McMahon had sentenced Sebastian to seven years in prison, suspended after 28 months, followed by three years probation in March 2010, calling him “an enigma” in the criminal justice system because Sebastian had no prior criminal record and a 20-year work history.