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Boggs sentenced for gun charges, burglary

Christopher Robert Boggs, 31, of Dillwyn, was sentenced to five years in prison in Lunenburg Circuit Court recently upon convictions of possession of firearm by violent felon, burglary and attempted burglary, grand larceny and two misdemeanors arising from sneaking into yards of homes and breaking into storage buildings, according to a news release from the Lunenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office.

Boggs was caught in the act at one location when his vehicle became stuck in the yard of a residence at Old Mansion Road. An alert resident called her landlord who then called the sheriff’s office.

According to Baxter Stegall, the assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Lunenburg County, on Jan. 19, deputies with the Lunenburg Sheriff’s Office responded to an address on Old Mansion Road. They had received a report that a strange car was in the yard at the house there, and was revving its engine and appeared to be stuck.

Deputies Brian Burns, Bert Bruneau and Tonya Jones arrived to investigate. When they approached, they saw Boggs standing in front of the car, where he had just put fencing and wooden planks in front of the wheels. Brandy Simmons was in the driver’s seat, trying to get the car unstuck.

As deputies approached, they noticed that Boggs and Simmons were whispering to each other. They both told deputies they had pulled off to use the restroom. However, the car was approximately 75 yards off the state road, and pulled almost behind the house. With growing suspicion, the officers began to look inside the car, and observed that it was full of tools and personal property. They saw a chain saw, weed cutting machinery, a television and a large number of other power tools and similar items.

Deputy Burns, according to the release, saw that one tool case was marked with an owner’s name, different than Boggs. Burns recognized the name as a local homeowner just down the road. When asked about these, Boggs said that he lived in the car, which belonged to his mother.

Deputy Bruneau then noticed drug paraphernalia in the map pocket of the passenger door. After seizing it and recognizing it as a probable methamphetamine pipe, deputies searched the car. As they searched, they discovered a loaded 12-gauge shotgun hidden beneath a blanket between the center console and the passenger seat. Simmons told deputies that it was her grandfather’s gun. Both admitted to being convicted felons, according to the release.

Deputy Burns called the homeowner whose name was on the toolbox. That homeowner checked his outbuildings and discovered that there had been a break-in, and that he was missing a chain saw, weed cutting machinery and a number of other tools. The total value of the items stolen from the homeowner was almost $2,000.

Burns later interviewed Simmons, who admitted that she had seen Boggs burglarize the outbuilding at the homeowner’s house. She had seen him putting the chain saw, weed cutting machinery and other tools into the car. They had driven to the next house but had gotten stuck in the yard. As the police approached, she told Burns that Boggs had whispered to her that she needed to tell the police the shotgun was hers because he didn’t want to get arrested for it.

Deputies then began to investigate further and discovered that Boggs had allegedly burglarized a number of residences in Nottoway County as well in the days prior. Simmons has felony charges pending in Lunenburg as a result of her role in the thefts.

Boggs was sentenced to a total of 57 years with all suspended except five years in prison. This is a mandatory minimum sentence set by the General Assembly for persons convicted of possessing a firearm after having been convicted previously of a violent felony as listed in the statutes. Boggs was convicted in 2011 of possession of firearm by a non-violent felon, which is defined as a violent felony for his current offense. He also had previous convictions of burglary, three convictions of grand larceny, two counts of petit larceny, a misdemeanor conviction of sexual assault of a child, and two probation violations.

Boggs will be subject to the following conditions for the suspended portions of his sentences: good behavior for 30 years, supervised probation with Department of Corrections Probation and Parole for three years commencing upon his release, warrantless searches for five years commencing upon his release, may not be within 100 feet of firearms, must forfeit all seized items and must have no contact with and stay off the property of the victims and other witnesses.

There was no restitution in this case because the deputies retrieved the property for the homeowner, according to the release.