Federal prosecutors in Greeneville wasted no time in snatching up a high-profile state prosecution involving a heavily armed, highly impaired Whitesburg man who was found passed out in an SUV in front of College Square Mall, according to court documents.
Kevin Lynn Hawkins, 42, Whetsel Road, was arrested Tuesday on a criminal complaint obtained by Cameron Miller, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Miller charged Hawkins with being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. The defendant could be indicted as soon as Nov. 12, when the federal grand jury next convenes.
Hawkins was a prominent blip on law enforcement’s radar before he was arrested on Oct. 20, allegedly in possession of an AR-15 rifle, a .22-caliber handgun, plenty of ammunition, crack cocaine and the prescription drug alprazolam, according to Miller.
It wasn’t law enforcement’s first contact with Hawkins.
On four occasions, Hamblen County deputies rolled to Hawkins’ residence to investigate the complaint that nine or 10 armed marauders were prowling in the woods behind his home. Four 911 calls, zero armed men located, according to Miller.
Hawkins even produced a trail-camera video he claimed showed the armed men. Trees aplenty, no marauders, according to the BATF agent.
During the first nine months of this year, deputies have been dispatched to Hawkins’ Whetsel Road residence nine other times to investigate other matters, including persistent truancy reported by his son’s school.
Hawkins was packing a holstered handgun and had two AR-15 magazines wedged into his back pockets when deputies accompanied a Department of Children’s Services caseworker, according to Miller.
“Deputies stated Hawkins reported he regularly uses various prescription drugs and occasionally marijuana,” according to the BATFE agent, who reported Hawkins tested positive for cocaine and the defendant’s son was taken into DCS custody at that time due the potentially dangerous living conditions.
Newly appointed U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Richardson Wyrick cut to the chase on Wednesday and ordered a competency evaluation for Hawkins, an assessment that normally takes several weeks.