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Feds charge Koloa man

LIHUE — A Koloa man with multiple cases pending in Kauai’s Fifth Circuit Court is facing federal charges as well.

Kevin Boggs, 37, was transported to a federal detention center in Honolulu about a week ago to stand trial on charges that he was found in possession of guns on three separate occasions, despite being prohibited from owning firearms as a convicted felon.

Until recently, Boggs had been in police custody on Kauai. He is scheduled to stand trial on a litany of charges, mostly related to drugs, weapons and theft in six different cases pending in Fifth Circuit Court.

At a court hearing Monday, Kauai County Deputy Prosecutor Sean Van Demark said his office will drop the charges against Boggs corresponding to those brought by federal prosecutors.

In cases like this, when some of the defendant’s alleged crimes fall under federal jurisdiction — the weapons Boggs was allegedly found with had been transported across state lines — state courts will often defer to federal authorities who can potentially impose much more severe sentences, according to Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar.

Kollar said local prosecutors have been in communication with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which will adopt some of Boggs’ cases in order to ensure that he faces the stiffest possible penalties if found guilty.

Kollar could not speculate precisely on the amount of prison time Boggs could eventually face but said, “he’s looking at decades.”

Boggs’ attorney, Craig De Costa, of the Lihue firm De Costa Hempey, said he expects Kauai County prosecutors to drop half of their cases against his client, explaining that Boggs’ federal charges stem from three of his Fifth Circuit cases.

The federal case against Boggs stems from three separate incidents which allegedly took place in Koloa in late 2018 and early 2019.

According to a criminal complaint filed Jan. 18 in Hawaii’s U.S. District Court, Boggs was found with guns and ammunition at least three times between November 2018 and January of this year — as a convicted felon, Boggs is prohibited by state law from owning or carrying a firearm.

“Even after he was arrested in November 2018 while unlawfully in possession of firearms and ammunition, Boggs proceeded to possess firearms and ammunition yet again on two more occasions,” Genevieve Leong, a special agent with the Honolulu field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in an affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Boggs first ran afoul of federal gun laws in November, when a Kauai police officer pulled him over for driving down Koloa Road in an all-terrain vehicle pulling “a homemade-style trailer.”

While Boggs was retrieving his license from his wallet, the KPD officer observed, “among other things, what appeared to be a rifle on the front rack of the ATV, a machete hanging from the ATV, and several dogs in the trailer.”

According to the Kauai Police Department’s public arrest log, Boggs was arrested on six separate charges. Three of those were related to the gun, which police said later turned out to be a loaded .30 caliber hunting rifle, but Boggs was also charged with trespassing and criminal property damage, crimes he allegedly confessed to while in police custody.

“After his arrest, Boggs stated that he had cut a fence the night before to get his ATV into a field where he was hunting pigs,” Leong said in the federal affidavit.

About a week later, KPD officers got a search warrant for Boggs’ ATV and trailer, which had been towed when he was arrested, and found two types of ammunition and a 9mm pistol. ATF agents later found that the serial numbers of both guns indicate that they were manufactured outside the state of Hawaii, meaning the weapons crossed state lines at some point, leaving Boggs on the hook for federal charges.

More legal trouble followed Boggs shortly after. On Dec. 18, according to police, one of Boggs’ relatives called to report that Boggs had been keeping an AR-15 assault rifle at his grandmother’s house and had recently taken the gun back to his own residence after an argument with another family member.

A few days later, KPD officers arrested Boggs outside of his home and allegedly found marijuana and a gun case in his car. The same day, according to the affidavit, a warranted search of Boggs’ home and Jeep turned up two pistols, three rifles, various types of ammunition and multiple plastic baggies containing “substances appearing to be marijuana and methamphetamine.”

The federal criminal complaint against Boggs says those five weapons were also manufactured out of state, providing the basis for his second count of illegal firearms possession.

Police picked Boggs up yet again less than a month later, this time after a KPD officer saw him and another individual in Koloa Cemetery on Jan. 13. A warrant had been issued for Boggs’ arrest several days prior in connection with an incident in which he was eventually charged with kidnapping, terroristic threatening, reckless endangering, extortion, assault and carrying a firearm in the commission of a separate felony.

By this point, Boggs had begun to suspect that his series of run-ins with the KPD was not a coincidence. The affidavit said Boggs told police “that he felt he was being harassed by the KPD and that he was just washing his vehicle while his friend painted his vehicle.”

A subsequent search of Boggs’ vehicle by KPD officers allegedly revealed more methamphetamine, marijuana and ammunition. Then, days later, police said they searched Boggs’ home and found ammunition and three more pistols, all of which also had been shipped to Hawaii from out of state.

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Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or cloehrer@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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