For Immediate Release
Jury Convicts Pittsburg, Kan., Man on Federal Firearms, Drug Charges
WICHITA, KAN. - A jury has convicted a Pittsburg, Kan., man on federal firearms and drug charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
James D. Russian, 57, Pittsburg, Kan., was convicted June 17 on one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, one count of unlawful possession of ammunition after a felony conviction, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that on March 27, 2013, Russian led police on a car chase from Barton County, Mo., to Crawford County, Kan., when they tried to stop him to investigate a report he threatened two people with a machete and a gun. Russian abandoned his car and hid in a wooded area before he was arrested. Investigators found marijuana, firearms and ammunition in his possession. Because of a prior felony conviction, Russian was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 3. The crimes carry the following penalties:
- Unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition following a felony conviction: A maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
- Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years and not more than life and a fine up to $250,000.
- Possession with intent to distribute marijuana: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
Grissom commended the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberal (Mo.) Police Department, the Pittsburg Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett for their work on the case.