Crime Tile

A Boston man was sentenced Monday to 2.5 years in jail after police found an unlicensed handgun in his backpack.  

PITTSFIELD — A Boston man was sentenced Monday to 2 1/2 years in jail after police found an unlicensed handgun in his backpack.  

Shane T. Brennan, 37, of Jamaica Plain, was the subject of a suspicious activity call made by a person who said they saw him standing on a porch of a Bradford Street apartment with a firearm in his waistband on July 24 at about 6:20 p.m.

Brennan went inside the apartment then came back out a short time later, said Assistant District Attorney Stuart Weissman. Police pat-frisked Brennan, who denied having any weapons and gave police "inconsistent" information during questioning.

With the consent of the resident, officers searched the apartment Brennan had briefly entered and saw the grip and magazine of an unsecured handgun in an unzipped backpack that had been placed near the doorway, he said. 

Brennan, in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday, admitted to possessing the gun, which lacked a serial number and contained a magazine loaded with eight rounds. 

In a written statement, the Pittsfield native said he apologizes for breaking the law. He said he was an active union laborer, and asked the court for leniency in sentencing "for the sake of my 14-month-old son and fiancé," saying a relapse after over three years of sobriety "impaired my judgement causing me to possess a firearm."

Brennan pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm without a license, possessing ammunition without a firearm identification card and improper storage of a firearm. The Berkshire District Attorney's office dismissed a charge possessing a large-capacity feeding device. 

Weissman and defense attorney Joseph Zlatnik jointly recommended to Judge Paul Smyth that Brennan serve the minimum mandatory sentence of 18 months in the House of Correction.

Smyth noted Brennan's criminal record, which he said included a 2018 admission by Brennan to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty on a charge of felony daytime breaking and entering.

Smyth said Brennan, given his history, the nature of the incident and the offenses to which he pleaded guilty, deserved a sentence greater than the minimum mandatory. He sentenced Brennan to 2 1/2 years in jail followed by three years probation, and ordered Brennan to remain drug-free. Brennan will receive 120 days credit for time served. 

Amanda Burke can be reached at or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.