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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Robert K. Hur
, United States Attorney
Contact: Marcia Murphy

Felon Indicted for Illegal Possession of Firearms, Witness Retaliation, and Arson

Allegedly Burned the Victim's Car in Retaliation for the Victim Providing Information to Law Enforcement

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging Jason Kiser, age 40, of Taneytown, Maryland, with illegal possession of firearms, witness retaliation, use of fire in the commission of a felony, and malicious destruction of a vehicle by fire.  The superseding indictment was returned late on October 24, 2018.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Carroll County Sheriff James T. DeWees; and Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

“Witness intimidation will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Attempts to intimidate or retaliate against federal witnesses will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The four-count superseding indictment adds three counts related to Kiser’s alleged witness retaliation against an individual who provided information to law enforcement concerning the possible commission of a federal crime.  The indictment alleges that on July 17, 2018, Kiser set the victim’s vehicle on fire, destroying the vehicle.  The original indictment charged Kiser with illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon and that charge is also included in the superseding indictment.

If convicted, Kiser faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms; a maximum of 20 years in prison for witness retaliation; a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentenced imposed and up to life in prison for use of fire in the commission of a felony; and a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for malicious destruction of a vehicle by fire.  Kiser is expected to have an initial appearance on the superseding indictment on November 2, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.  Kiser remains detained

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark V. Gurzo, who is prosecuting the case.

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Baltimore Field Division