Officer loses job for holding firearms

LIHUE — A longtime Kauai Police Officer has lost his job after being sentenced for firearms violations. 

Nelson P. Agni, 49, of Lihue, was in 5th Circuit Court for sentencing on Wednesday, after pleading no contest Sept. 8 on two misdemeanor counts of failing to obtain a permit to acquire possession of a firearm. 

The charges were filed when it came to the attention of police that Agni was holding the guns for another person. He denied holding the weapons initially, but when confronted with a search warrant, he admitted having them and that he had not registered them as required by law.

Agni didn’t make a statement to the court on Wednesday but asked the judge to consider his letter as a statement.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe noted the letter showed Agni was humble and apologetic. She said losing his job was a high price to pay to help out a sister-in-law’s boyfriend.

“I hope that they understand that,” Watanabe said.

Watanabe granted Agni’s motion to defer acceptance of the no-contest plea and assessed a $500 fine.

Upon successful completion of a one-year deferment, Agni will be eligible to file a motion that would remove the charges from his criminal record.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn said the state would not object to the deferred acceptance of the no-contest plea. She asked for a fine and a firearms safety course.

State Deputy Public Defender Christopher Donahoe asked the court to consider the personal and professional loss to Agni and grant the deferment with a $500 fine in lieu of jail time.

Agni has no prior criminal record and served in law enforcement for 25 years, including several roles at KPD.

Donahoe said Agni was holding the firearms for someone close to his family. They were not registered and a situation arose where the weapons registration issue came to the attention of the police.

KPD did not respond to a request for a statement on Agni’s dismissal.

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