News and Press Releases

VILLA RIDGE HUSBAND AND WIFE CHARGED WITH FEDERAL OFFENSES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2011

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on September 7, 2011, William A. Kern, 32, and his wife, Tara M. Kern, 38, were each indicted with separate federal felony offenses by a Grand Jury sitting in Southern Illinois.

William Kern was indicted in a one count federal indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm. That Indictment charges that on May 17, 2011, William Kern knowingly possessed a firearm after he had previously been convicted, in 1998, of Arson, a felony under the laws of the State of Illinois.

If convicted, William Kern faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years’ supervised release. William Kern is being held in jail pending the posting of a cash bond. William Kern’s case is set for a Jury Trial on November 14, 2011, in the United States District Court in Benton, Illinois.

Tara M. Kern, 38, William Kern’s wife, was indicted in a four count federal indictment.

That Indictment charges, in Count 1, that from on or about October 8, 2006, to on or about May 17, 2011, in Pulaski County, Tara M. Kern did knowingly aid and abet a convicted felon (William A. Kern) in the possession of a firearm; Count 2 charges that from on or about September 25, 2007, to on or about May 17, 2011, in Pulaski County, Tara M. Kern knowingly aided and abetted a convicted felon (William A. Kern) in the possession of a firearm; Count 3 charges that from on or about November 20, 2007, to on or about May 17, 2011, in Pulaski County, Tara M. Kern did knowingly aid and abet a convicted felon (William A. Kern) in the possession of a firearm; and Count 4 charges that on May 17, 2011, in Pulaski County, Tara M. Kern knowingly concealed six (6) firearms with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

With respect to each of Counts 1, 2, and 3, Tara Kern faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years’ supervised release. On Count 4, Tara Kern faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to 4 years’ supervised release. Tara Kern was released on bond pending trial. Tara Kern’s case is set for a Jury Trial on November 14, 2011, in the United States District Court in Benton, Illinois.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, each defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

“Felons, no matter where or when, are prohibited from possessing firearms. I will prosecute such felons whenever I can. Persons who aid in this crime, no matter who they are, will be prosecuted. One of my highest priorities is to get illegally-possessed weapons off of our streets in Southern Illinois in order to make all of our neighborhoods safer places to live.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Illinois State Police, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney George A. Norwood.

 

 

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