Matias Messi, the older brother of Lionel Messi has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail on Thursday, August 16, 2018, for the illegal possession of firearms.
The older Messi will however not spend any time in jail, as his sentence has been commuted to community service, reports Soccer Laduma.
Matias was found in possession of an unlicensed gun back in November 2017. The weapon was reportedly found inside a blood-stained boat that Matias allegedly crashed in the Parana River that flows through a few countries in South America.
Matias has had several encounters with the law over the years and was arrested in May when he reportedly threatened a civilian with a gun following a car accident.
The 35-year-old was initially held under preventive arrest and later released while he recovered from a fractured jaw and other injuries in the Santa Fe province of Argentina.
Matias’ lawyer originally argued that his client crashed the boat into a sandbank and denied that he owned the gun.
This isn’t the first time Matias has had brushes with the law for allegedly illegally carrying a firearm.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s brother, who has been linked with known criminals in the past, was held for 16 hours in a prison cell for in 2015 after officers found an an unlicensed 22-caliber gun in his car.
He was also arrested in 2008 for allegedly having a loaded gun in his belt.
Matias is the middle brother in the Messi family, with Rodrigo aged 38 and Lionel aged 31. The trio also have a younger sister, 31, called Maria.
Matias and Rodrigo helped the Argentina international build up a huge passion for football by playing constantly together when they were younger.
Matias – alongside his mother, Celia María Cuccittini – helps manage the Barcelona forward’s charitable organisation, the Leo Messi Foundation.
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