| Image by Mel Guapo For pleading guilty to selling guns without a license-including over the counter of the Utz potato-chip stand at Baltimore's Lexington Market-U.S. District Court judge Richard Bennett sentenced 53-year-old Michael Papantonakis yesterday to 15 months in prison and three years' probation. City Paper covered the story as it developed in April, here, here, and here. We then wryly named the Utz stand "Best Place to Buy Guns and a Snack" in the 2009 Best of Baltimore issue, recommending it as "one-stop shopping" for gangsters: "Let's say you're a little hungry, but you need to go put a bullet in a motherfucker later tonight."
According the plea agreement, Papantonakis admits that undercover agents or cooperators met with him on nine occasions "in order to purchase firearms or ammunition" and that "the majority of these meetings occurred" at the chip stand. He also owns up that he used his 21-year-old girlfriend, who worked at the stand, "to accept money on his behalf in exchange for firearms." In all "approximately fifteen firearms were sold" by Papantonakis between September 2007 and April 2009," the agreement states.
Papantonakis, according to online state court records, is set for re-arraignment on separate state charges in Baltimore City Circuit Court, which state that in April 2008 he illegally discharged pollutants and improperly disposed of hazardous substances. His court appearance is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Sept. 29, in Courtroom 227 at 111 N. Calvert St.