KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm after leading police officers on a high-speed chase through oncoming traffic and crashing into several police vehicles.
Kyle K. Kessler, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to nine years in federal prison without parole.
On Oct. 15, 2020, Kessler pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kessler admitted he was in possession of a Jimenez Arms 9mm semi-automatic pistol on Dec. 18, 2019.
Kansas City, Mo., police officers attempted to stop Kessler, who was driving a stolen Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck, shortly after noon on Dec. 18, 2019. When officers activated their emergency lights, however, Kessler refused to stop. Kessler’s vehicle struck several police cars as he fled from the area at a high rate of speed.
According to court documents, Kessler fled in a stolen vehicle at speeds averaging 80 miles per hour, up to 100 miles per hour. Kessler ran two stoplights on Blue Ridge Cutoff at Sni-A-Bar road and at E. 55th Street. Kessler weaved into oncoming traffic, which caused motorists to take evasive action to avoid colliding with Kessler’s vehicle. At E. 80th Street and Raytown Road, Kessler drove through a school zone without slowing. At E. 85th Street and Hickman Mills Road, Kessler lost control and drove off the road, striking a concrete pillar.
Two officers parked their vehicles behind the pickup. Kessler put the pickup in reverse and accelerated rapidly toward one of the officers. The officer dove out of the path of the truck, which struck the officer’s police car and pushed it back. Kessler continued accelerating into another officer’s vehicle. After striking both police cars, Kessler struck a guardrail and stopped. Two more police officers used their vehicles to block the truck and keep Kessler from fleeing.
Kessler refused to follow instructions to get out of the vehicle, so officers had to break the passenger window and pull him out. Kessler continued to resist officers until they handcuffed him. Officers then found the loaded Jimenez Arms pistol in Kessler’s left front jacket pocket.
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 11 prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle as well as prior felony convictions for burglary of a motor vehicle, tampering with an airplane or motor boat, theft, resisting arrest, and fraudulent use of a credit device.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stefan C. Hughes. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police 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.