On Sunday, authorities served Dolphins center Mike Pouncey with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury investigating potential weapons offenses involving former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Per a league source, the subpoena was issued by a state court, not a federal court.
The possibility that the subpoena came from federal court arose from the SI.com report that authorities are investigating Hernandez’s potential involvement in interstate gun trafficking. The word “interstate” implies the application of federal laws.
The distinction is important, for Hernandez. If the subpoena had come from a federal court, it would have meant that a federal grand jury had been convened. Which would have meant that the federal grand jury could have been investigating an array of potential offenses, including the possible allegation that Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd in June 2013 because he had knowledge regarding the possible allegation that Hernandez killed Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu in July 2012.
Which could have exposed Hernandez to a penalty not currently available under state law: the death penalty.
It doesn’t mean that the feds aren’t investigating the case. And it doesn’t mean that Hernandez won’t be prosecuted for federal offenses. It only means that Pouncey has been ordered to appear, for now, before a Massachusetts grand jury exploring possible violations of Massachusetts law.