CASE UPDATE: Former Gilberton Police Chief Found Guilty
Schuylkill County Man Faces Nine to 16 Months Incarceration for Providing a False Statement while Attempting to Purchase Gun
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the former Gilberton Police Chief was found guilty by a jury on felony and misdemeanor charges related to providing false information while attempting to purchase a firearm.
Mark Kessler, 46, of South 2nd Street, Frackville, was charged with violating the sale or transfer of firearms law, a felony in the third degree, and providing unsworn falsification to authorities. In May 2016, Kessler answered “no” to a question on a firearm application asking if he was under indictment for a crime that could carry a sentence of more than a year incarceration. Kessler was under indictment at the time for terroristic threats and harassment, which carried a potential sentence of five years.
A Schuylkill County jury found Kessler guilty of all charges. The jury rejected his testimony that he had simply made a mistaken while completing the forms.
The case was referred to the Office of Attorney General by Schuylkill County District Attorney Michael O’Pake in February 2018. Kessler is well known for posting videos to YouTube that include foul language, political rants and irresponsible firearm use.
“This individual was a former police chief. He knows the law and still chose to blatantly lie on his firearm application,” Attorney General Shapiro said following yesterday’s verdict. “I’d like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police for their assistance in this case and maintaining the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, which is essential to ensuring safe firearm sale in the state.”
Kessler faces a sentence of nine to 16 months incarceration on the felony charge. The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Nathan Boob.
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