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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Missouri
Teresa A. Moore, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

New Franklin Couple Indicted for Illegal Firearms

Husband Also Charged with Attempted Bank Robbery

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A New Franklin, Mo., couple has been indicted by a federal grand jury for attempted bank robbery and illegally possessing firearms.

Jacob Lowell Hessing, 25, and his wife, Tristen Nicole Hessing, 25, were charged in a three-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City, Mo., on Feb. 27. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the Hessings arrests and initial court appearances. Jacob Hessing remains detained in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Wednesday, March 6. Tristen is released on bond.

The federal indictment alleges that Jacob Hessing attempted to rob Exchange Bank of Missouri in New Franklin on Sept. 9, 2023.

Jacob and Tristen Hessing are each charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges they were in possession of a Diamondback Arms rifle and a Rossi .38 special revolver on Oct. 30, 2023.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Jacob Hessing has two prior felony convictions for the distribution/manufacture of drugs and a prior felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance. Tristen Hessing has a prior felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the Hessings to forfeit to the government the Diamondback Arm rifle, the Rossi revolver, and assorted ammunition, including several magazines that contained dozens of rounds of ammunition.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa A. Pierce. It was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Howard County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


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