A gang member who threatened a witness with a gun while escaping from the scene of a late night Mission district hit-and-run was granted pre-trial release today.
Kevin Eliseo Chavez, 38, is charged with one count of ‘being a felon in possession of a firearm’ stemming from the July 2022 incident at 24th and Bryant.
He was ordered released by U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley on an unsecured bond of $50,000. He is to live in a “clean and sober living facility in Antioch”.
Prosecutors previously told the court that he was involved in a multi-car collision that he caused when he lost control of the Honda Accord he was driving. While fleeing, he drew a gun to dissuade a bystander from pursuing him.
It is the latest in Chavez’ 20-year litany of weapons and drugs offenses for which he has been imprisoned on nine separate occasions.
After five months at large Chavez was tracked down by SFPD via electronic surveillance authorized by multiple warrants. When detained he was found in possession of a stolen Glock 27 semi-automatic pistol equipped with an extended magazine and cocaine. He was subsequently released from custody in San Francisco, whereupon a federal grand jury returned an indictment, he was arrested again, and then kept in federal custody until today.
The 2022 incident had parallels to a December 2019 incident when Chavez was arrested for DUI after a two-car crash in the early hours of Sunday morning. A search of his vehicle then turned up an unregistered firearm, drugs and cash.
Between these two arrests, Chavez was arrested on July 28, 2020 and charged with ‘shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle’ and ‘attempted murder’. This related to a shooting at the grave site of a rival gang member. Defense attorneys have previously pointed out, however, that these charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
Prosecutors earlier told the court that police regard Chavez as “extremely dangerous” and observe that, on each occasion he is arrested, law enforcement agencies routinely assemble large numbers of officers and draw up meticulous plans.
He is believed by police to be an active gang member,.
U.S Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero originally ordered the defendant to be detained, and Chavez’ bid to have this decision reversed was previously denied by Judge Corley in March 2023.
Federal Public Defender Elizabeth Falk provided the court with a release plan which included her client living in a “clean and sober living facility in Antioch”.
She also submitted a letter from Options – which describes itself as “Evidence-Based Technology with Modern Therapy” – stating that Chavez had been accepted on to its GPS monitoring program.
Aspects of his release are to be coordinated by the Latino Task Force who will ensure, they say, that Chavez will receive “assertive case management.”
He will be back in San Francisco Federal Courthouse at 10:00am on July 27 2023 for a status conference.
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