Ludlow man pleads guilty to firearm possession

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Posted 5/23/17

A Port Hadlock man who was scheduled to stand trial this month on charges of unlawful possession of firearms has instead reached a plea agreement with Jefferson County prosecutors.

Frankie Gene …

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Ludlow man pleads guilty to firearm possession

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A Port Hadlock man who was scheduled to stand trial this month on charges of unlawful possession of firearms has instead reached a plea agreement with Jefferson County prosecutors.

Frankie Gene Bocook Jr., 39, is being considered for entry into the county’s drug court program, in exchange for seven of the 14 charges against him being dismissed, after he pleaded guilty May 12 in Jefferson County Superior Court to the other seven counts.

Bocook pleaded guilty to six counts of unlawful possession of firearms, and one count of possession of a short-barreled shotgun.

“Because the firearms were all found in the same place (the master bedroom of his residence) at the same time, and the victim (society) is the same, these counts encompass for purposes of sentencing,” Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Julie St. Marie wrote in an email to The Leader May 19.

According to St. Marie, Bocook entered the drug court post-plea to take advantage of its substance abuse treatment and support programs.

“Should he fail to complete the requirements of drug court, he will be remanded for sentencing,” St. Marie wrote. “The standard range is three to eight months of incarceration.”

KICKING AN ADDICTION

In a letter to the court dated May 6, Bocook wrote that he began to use methamphetamine to help him meet the increasing demands of his job as a service technician, doing double duty as an on-call emergency technician and delivery driver.

After being “let go” by his employers, he wrote that he turned to watching TV shows devoted to conspiracy theories and “doomsday preppers,” and spending his money on firearms.

“I spent the last two years dealing in antiques for survival, getting high, and being paranoid, as I could not kick the drug,” Bocook wrote. “I have been locked up for 2 months and am sober, and feel that treatment, and drug court, is my best way to address the ‘deep’ issue.”

Bocook also wrote up a plan of steps toward recovery, dated April 26, which includes attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and to New Horizons Counseling for anger management and parenting classes, as well as a drug evaluation.

On May 6, Bocook added the step of enrolling in drug court and meeting its requirements.

Both handwritten documents were submitted to Superior Court May 12, along with four emailed letters of support for Bocook.

Wayne Nagy, a former neighbor of Bocook, wrote that he was once “a steady worker, took care of the property he was renting, attentive to the needs of his children and generally maintained a low profile … essentially, he was a good neighbor.”

After Nagy and his wife, Kimberly, moved to Port Townsend in 2013, they continued to follow Bocook as a “friend” on Facebook, and over the course of the past year, they became aware that “things had changed, and not in a good way” in Bocook’s life.

Nagy wrote that, if Bocook is determined to be chemically dependent, then he and his wife “would advocate for the court to strongly consider rehabilitation in lieu of continued incarceration. He has certainly demonstrated the ability to function within the acceptable norms of civil society, as a father, employee and citizen.”

Leah Henry, Bocook’s employer at Arroyo Energy, wrote that he was “talented and highly skilled … an extremely hard-working individual,” but also wrote that “the talents he possesses are undermined when he is involved in drugs or alcohol.”

Henry echoed the Nagys’ recommendation that Bocook receive treatment rather than an extended jail sentence, and wrote, “I feel he is worth the investment.”

Rick Gore, former owner of Mountain Propane, also wrote about Bocook, describing him as “an excellent employee” and offering the opinion that “rehab would be what he needs to be a whole person again!”

In a written statement, Bocook’s mother, Rita Whalen, recalled her son’s childhood as a student in a gifted program, and wrote that, even as an adult, “He does have a love of learning, and will research a subject to death.”

“He does learn from his mistakes,” she wrote.

During Bocook’s May 19 sentencing hearing, Superior Court Judge Keith Harper noted that he could offer Bocook “no promises” with regard to his eventual sentencing, but that Bocook’s performance in drug court “could suggest mitigation to some degree.”

Harper noted both Bocook’s apparent sincerity and the support for rehabilitation expressed by the letters submitted to the court.

“It’s obvious to me, now that you’ve been clean for two months, that you’re presenting yourself entirely differently than you were before,” Harper said. “I hope you think of this as a positive indication of what you’re capable of.”

ARRESTED IN MARCH

Bocook was arrested March 15 at his home in the 100 block of Fir Circle, and originally pleaded not guilty March 24 in Superior Court. He’s been held in Jefferson County Jail since then, with his bail set at $150,000.

Bocook was charged for the firearms found in his home after Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies, acting on a tip, obtained a warrant to search the home, according to court records.

Of those 16 counts, later reduced, 13 were for unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, while the remaining three counts stemmed from alleged unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle.

Three of the 16 firearms had barrels measuring less than 16 inches and stocks that meet the legal definition of rifles, according to court records.

JCSO Detective Brett Anglin wrote in a probable-cause statement that, on March 14, he met with a person who claimed that Bocook was in possession of numerous firearms, including short-barreled and fully automatic rifles, as well as police gear, including uniforms, with markings.

Bocook has a previous conviction for domestic violence, and is not allowed to possess firearms as a result, Anglin wrote in the probable-cause report.

On March 15, the tipster led Anglin to a witness, who recalled seeing Bocook with a firearm about four months earlier.

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