A Kansas City man faces at least 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of drug charges Wednesday in a case involving a high-speed chase in Independence.
Christopher J. Kessler, 29, was found guilty by a federal court jury of one count of possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and one count of possessing marijuana.
The conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole up to a sentence of life without parole.
Kessler was arrested on March 5, 2016, after a high-speed chase that began in Independence and ended in Kansas City. Independence police attempted to stop a Ford Explorer driven by Kessler at about 12:30 a.m.
After Kessler pulled over, the officer was notified that the license plate on his vehicle had been reported as stolen. The officer, using the speaker on his vehicle, ordered Kessler to put the Explorer into park, but Kessler instead sped off.
During the chase, officers said Kessler reached speeds as high as 105 mph and was driving in the opposite lanes of traffic without his lights.
After officers called off the chase, helicopter surveillance witnessed Kessler enter a hotel. Officers then tackled Kessler following a chase on foot, and Kessler resisted arrest by biting one of the officers on the hand and wrist.
After he was handcuffed, officers discovered a clear plastic baggie that contained at least 50.9 grams of pure meth in his right front pocket, as well as a smaller clear plastic baggie that contained seven grams of marijuana.
Kessler will be sentenced at a later date.