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Press Release

Ava Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – An Ava, Missouri, man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing methamphetamine and a firearm.

Charles D. Kessler, 41, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on July 29, 2021, to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On July 2, 2020, Kessler pleaded guilty to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kessler admitted he was in possession of 37.8 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded Taurus .380-caliber pistol when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence on Jan. 5, 2017. The methamphetamine, which Kessler admitted he intended to distribute, was found inside a locked security safe next to a bed in Kessler’s bedroom, along with drug distribution materials. The pistol was found on the headboard of Kessler’s bed.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Kessler has prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance, burglary, retail theft, aggravated battery, and theft.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Byron H. Black and Josephine L. Stockard. It was investigated by the Douglas County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Wright County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

Updated August 5, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking