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Chief Questions Norwich Man’s Sentence

Norwich — A Norwich man was recently sentenced to 30 days in prison on a slew of state and federal charges, including weapons possession and lewd conduct, in plea deals that the town’s police chief says were overly generous.

A federal judge last week ordered Jeff Bogie, 50, sent to federal prison for 30 days for unlawful possession of a firearm. Days later, state prosecutors finalized a deal that called for the same sentence — which will run at the same time — for charges contributing to the delinquency of the minor, prohibited acts, marijuana possession and possessing stolen property.

Bogie was initially charged in 2010 with lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, for allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl after providing her alcohol. During that investigation, police searched his home and found more than a half pound of marijuana, pills and 44 firearms, including machines guns, rifles and pistols, according to police affidavits.

Federal authorities prosecuted Bogie for being a drug user in possession of firearms: The rest of the case was handled at the state level.

Norwich Police Chief Doug Robinson said that he believes Bogie should have spent at least a couple of years in prison, and was disappointed in the leniency.

“I think he pretty much got away with it,” Robinson said. “When a guy has a lot of marijuana, thousands of dollars of stolen property, (acted inappropriately) with a little girl and possessed 40 guns, a 30-day sentence is ludicrous. I was in disbelief.”

Bogie and his defense attorney, Jordana Levine, did not respond to messages seeking comment yesterday.

Federal Judge J. Garvan Murtha, who had significant leeway, imposed the 30-day sentence on firearms charges in U.S. District Court in Brattleboro.

In an interview, Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand said he had agreed with Levine that the sentence he’d OK’d in state court would be the same length as the federal sentence. But Sand said he had expected a much longer federal sentence than Murtha imposed, and did not wish to back out of his agreement. So, he agreed to a four-to-10-year sentence with all but 30 days suspended.

“For better or worse, months ago, I made a commitment that the jail time he would serve on the state charges would be equal to the federal charges,” Sand said. “I anticipated that he would get a longer sentence than he did, but he did not. I certainly understand why others may say 30 days is not sufficient.”

But Sand noted that Bogie has significant incentive not to commit any more crimes: He is on probation indefinitely, and, if he runs afoul of the law again, he would face the underlying four-to-10-year sentence.

“Given the fact that he will be supervised for a long time with a lot hanging over his head, I feel pretty good about the public safety aspect of this case,” Sand said.

Mark Davis can be reached at mcdavis@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.