New details have emerged about the type of weapons possessed by a Lilburn man who allegedly wrote threatening comments about attacking a Gwinnett County government building, and about the nature of the threats.
Court documents show Kevin Samuel Lahey, 26, was homeless and living in a pup tent in his parents’ backyard when federal agents found three rifles, two handguns and two stolen silencers in his possession. Authorities said they also found some writings indicating that he planned to attack a Gwinnett government building.
Lahey’s court-appointed defense lawyer, Stephen Patrick Johnson, said that law enforcement recovered a single handwritten poem from among other discarded papers in Lahey’s vehicle. He had composed the poem with other inmates while he was serving a jail sentence in the Gwinnett jail between 2007 and 2008, Johnson said.
“The allegations that Mr. Lahey was planning to attack the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center are without merit,” Johnson said Wednesday in an email. “Simply put, what this writing represents is the immature and regrettable venting of a young man’s frustrations at being incarcerated. Nothing more.”
Lahey, who was born in Wadenswil, Switzerland, has a long history of drug addiction, according to a detention order in his criminal case.
Lahey had not communicated the threats to anyone, authorities said, and he is not charged with making terroristic threats. He is charged with possession of a firearm silencer in violation of federal law.
His father, James Lahey, said Wednesday that his son is not dangerous and the case has been sensationalized.
The elder Lahey said “it’s a shame” that “individuals throughout the Atlanta area” read about the alleged threat. “It’s alarming to them and it was overblown, and it didn’t help anybody.”
Maj. Kirk Williamson of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said last week that the threat Lahey allegedly made involved the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, where the majority of county government offices and courtrooms are housed.
Williamson said the threat was not specific, but he described it as disturbing and said Lahey “certainly has our attention.”
The investigation of Lahey began Feb. 6, after he allegedly stole two firearm silencers from a glass display case inside Bullseye Indoor Range and Guns in Lawrenceville.
When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives distributed an advisory to local police, a Snellville police officer recognized Lahey’s photograph from having arrested him in September.
In that incident, Lahey was allegedly attempting to shoplift a bipod stand for a long gun, two laser sights, a pistol case and pistol holster from a Wal-Mart in Snellville. During a struggle with officers, Lahey dropped a loaded handgun, police said.
An ATF agent who went to the home of Lahey’s parents in Lilburn Feb. 25 found a .22 caliber pistol with one of the stolen silencers attached to the muzzle inside his backyard tent. The other silencer was found in a crawl space beneath his parents’ house.
Silencers are among a classification of firearms that can only be possessed by licensed firearms manufacturers, importers or dealers and are closely tracked by the ATF. Lahey was not registered to possess such a weapon, court records show.
Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
At a detention hearing Friday, U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Linda Walker found that Lahey posed a danger to the community. She ordered that Lahey remain in federal custody without bond.
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