SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN MAN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL TRANSPORTATION AND POSSESSION OF EXPLOSIVES
MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today that Kenneth Ageed Kassab, age 53, a resident of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was arraigned on April 19 in U.S. District Court in Marquette on charges of unlawful transportation of explosives and possession of explosives by a convicted felon. The superseding indictment (Link) alleges that these offenses took place in November 2010. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison.
Kassab was listed in the superseding indictment (Link) as a co-defendant with John Francis Lechner, age 65, also a resident of Sault Ste. Marie. Lechner was originally the sole defendant in an explosives case stemming from the discovery of 4,200 pounds of a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, commonly known as “ANFO,” and various other explosive materials, in September 2011. The superseding indictment, which replaces the original charges, repeats Lechner’s original charges and also adds charges relating to his possession of ANFO with Kassab in November 2010.
Lechner had been set to be tried on the original charges on May 21, 2012. With the addition of Kassab as a co-defendant, the trial date is likely to be rescheduled for later in the summer.
An indictment is merely an instrument to put the defendant on notice of the charges against him. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty by a jury of his peers.