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Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas began serving his sentence Friday night when he arrived at the Montgomery County Detention Center at 7:40 p.m., jail officials said.

Arenas pleaded guility to a gun charge in the District and a judge sentenced him to two years probation with the first 30 days at a halfway house. But the first two days of that must be spent at the county jail.

Arenas, 28, is serving his time in Montgomery County because the county has a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to take certain offenders. In Arenas’s case, he was put on probation by a judge in the federally supported court system of Washington, D.C. The prisons bureau pays the tab.

Federal officials chose a Montgomery halfway house near the White Flint Mall because of its reputation as a halfway house that is run with the discipline of a prison. The facility screens visitors and can keep Arenas safe from celebrity seekers and other convicts. “It’s to protect Gilbert. It’s a command and control operation where nonsense will not be permitted,” said a federal source with knowledge of the decision, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak about the case.

Montgomery officials have federal probationers spend the two days in traditional lockup to give them a taste of real confinement should they break rules down the road, as well as full medical and psychological screenings by the detention center’s staff.