A Waldoboro man arrested after a Saturday, Nov. 21 search uncovered $200,000 in stolen gold coins under a false floor in his basement allegedly stole hundreds of thousands more from an 83-year-old Florida collector in 2014.
Kevin S. King, 53, also faces charges in connection with the discovery of an assault rifle and several other firearms – King is a felon – and a small amount of heroin during a search Nov. 17.
The Waldoboro Police Department, with assistance from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, arrested King the afternoon of Nov. 17.
King was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, theft by receiving stolen property, and unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, according to the Waldoboro Police Department.
At the time of his Nov. 17 arrest, King was free after posting a $30,000 bond in Juniper, Fla., following his arrest for grand theft and money laundering in excess of $100,000, according to a press release from the Waldoboro Police Department.
According to an article by The Palm Beach Post, of West Palm Beach, Fla., King allegedly stole 490 African Krugerrand gold coins worth $633,000 Sept. 26, 2014. At the time, King owned National Numismatic and Precious Metals, a coin shop in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Jerome Price, 83, of North Palm Beach, Fla., had set up a meeting with King to sell his collection of Kruggerrands, which had taken him 75 years to accumulate. Price had sold King 15 coins the previous year, and King said he had found a buyer for the rest of the collection.
The Palm Beach Post reported that the two men sat in Price’s car to discuss the sale before going inside a local deli for a drink at King’s suggestion. The briefcase containing the coins was left in the car, and King allegedly left his door ajar.
Price wanted to sit at a table facing the parking area, however, King directed him to a booth away from the window, according to The Palm Beach Post, which cites a probable-cause affidavit. While inside the deli, King stepped away from the table to use the restroom, and hung out at the back of the restaurant to send text messages.
King’s cellphone records revealed that he texted a man three times with a message that read “Do it now.”
When Price returned to his vehicle after the two men failed to come to an agreement on the sale, the briefcase containing the coins was gone.
The police spoke to the man King texted. The man, who has not been charged, said King had asked him to pick up a briefcase he had left in a friend’s car, according to The Palm Beach Post. He said he did not know the coins were inside the briefcase.
From Sept. 29, 2014 until June 22, 2015, King reportedly sold 254 of the Krugerrands for $700,000.
King was arrested July 28. Later the same day, King was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
King’s Nov. 17 arrest was the result of an ongoing criminal investigation, which followed two earlier incidents involving erratic behavior by King in the lobby of a Waldoboro doctor’s office.
King has an extensive criminal history extending back to 1980, which includes numerous felony drug, weapons, alcohol, and traffic-related incidents.
On Nov. 17, law enforcement executed a search warrant at King’s residence at 580 Bremen Rd. (Route 32).
According to a press release from the Waldoboro Police Department, police seized two handguns, a shotgun, and an AR-15 assault rifle, as well as a large cache of ammunition, approximately 4 grams of heroin, prescription drugs, a digital scale, and other drug-related paraphernalia during the search.
Police also seized five of the missing gold coins.
King was transported to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where bail was initially set at $25,000 cash. Following his Nov. 17 arrest, the state of Florida revoked King’s bond due to his alleged new criminal conduct.
Following up on information gathered during the Nov. 17 search, Waldoboro police obtained a second search warrant for King’s residence Nov. 20 and searched the residence Nov. 21, assisted by a Maine State Police K-9 Unit.
During the second search, officers allegedly located two additional firearms; approximately 150-200 of the African Krugerrands gold coins, valued at approximately $200,000; and a sealed box containing five 100-ounce silver bars valued at approximately $10,000, all hidden under the false floor in the basement.
The Juniper Police Department is currently making arraignments to retrieve the gold coins and precious metal seized during the execution of the Waldoboro warrants, and is seeking to extradite King back to Florida.
The Waldoboro Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Juniper Police Department, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are continuing to investigate.
The Waldoboro Police Department urges anyone with any information about the investigation to contact Waldoboro Police Officer Larry Hesseltine or Waldoboro Police Chief Bill Labombarde at 832-4500 or 832-5369.