Lewiston man who shed clothes while fleeing cops gets 15 years for gun crime

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LEWISTON — A Lewiston man who led police to a mosque where he was found in his underwear was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to 15 years in prison for having a gun illegally.

Kaya Simions, 23, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon or a so-called armed career criminal.

Simions was convicted of five violent felonies between 2006 and 2008, four of them in Massachusetts, court records showed. His convictions include assault and battery on a police officer, breaking and entering and battery on a public employee.

According to court records, Simions shot a handgun on Aug. 4 into the air twice on Oak Street in Lewiston. Police saw a person matching his description fleeing the scene. Police chased him on foot, watching as he held something in front of his pants. He ran into some bushes, then jumped a fence. He shed clothing as he ran, leaving a trail to a local mosque. He was found at the mosque wearing only his underwear.

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Police found the handgun along with Simions’ discarded clothing in the bushes. The .38 caliber Colt Cobra had four live rounds and two spent shell casings, court records showed.

A federal prosecutor wrote that the gun was traced to one that was stolen during a residential burglary in Lewiston on Jan. 23, 2009. Simions wasn’t implicated in that burglary, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee.

After his arrest, Simions told police, “You know I did it. I ain’t getting out of this.”

After serving his prison sentence, Simions will be on supervised release for five years, according to court records.

During his release, Simions can’t have a firearm or any other dangerous weapon. He also must participate in mental health treatment and comply with a medication program prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Simions is barred from having and using alcohol or illegal drugs and must participate in drug and alcohol abuse therapy counseling.

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