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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Thursday, March 22, 2018

KC Man Sentenced to 21 Years for Meth, Marijuana

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for possessing methamphetamine to distribute and for possessing marijuana.

Christopher J. Kessler, 30, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 21 years and six months in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 27, 2017, Kessler was convicted at trial of one count of possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and one count of possessing marijuana.

Kessler was arrested on March 5, 2016, following a high-speed vehicle pursuit and foot chase by Independence and Kansas City, Mo., police officers. At about 12:37 a.m., an Independence officer attempted to stop a Ford Explorer driven by Kessler, which was traveling at a high rate of speed and made an abrupt turn without signaling. When Kessler pulled over, the officer was notified that the license plate on his vehicle belonged to another vehicle that had been reported as stolen. The officer, using his exterior speaker, twice ordered Kessler to place the vehicle in park. Instead, Kessler rapidly accelerated. The officer pursued Kessler, who reached a speed of 105 miles per hour, at times driving in the opposite lanes of traffic without his vehicle lights on and traveling through several residential lawns.

Police officers called off the pursuit but helicopter surveillance observed Kessler enter a hotel. Kessler led officers on a pursuit through the hotel and back out to the street. An officer eventually tackled Kessler to the ground; he continued to resist officers by placing his hands around and under his face. Kessler bit one of the officers on the finger and on the wrist, breaking the skin. Additional officers assisted in securing Kessler in handcuffs.

Officers searched Kessler and found a clear plastic baggie that contained at least 50.9 grams of pure methamphetamine in his right front pocket, as well as a smaller clear plastic baggie that contained seven grams of marijuana.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers also pursued Kessler on at least two more occasions after a federal arrest warrant was issued in this case. On July 18, 2016, while under surveillance, Kessler fled the area in excess of 90 miles per hour and the pursuit was terminated. Then on Aug. 2, 2016, detectives were able to surround Kessler when he stopped the stolen motorcycle he was operating in the bay of a carwash. But Kessler did not comply with the officers’ commands, and instead fled the area on foot. He was eventually tackled and taken into custody.

Kessler, who has a significant criminal record of 41 convictions in 25 separate cases, also has a lengthy history of resisting police while operating vehicles at high rates of speed, resulting in accidents, erratic driving behavior, and fleeing on foot. Kessler was on supervision for a Johnson County, Kansas District Court theft case at the time of his arrest in this case.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily A. Morgan and Patrick Edwards. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Drug Trafficking
Updated March 22, 2018