Jason Paul Kiser, 40, of Taneytown, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to illegal possession of firearms and witness retaliation. Kiser admitted to burning a person’s car in retaliation for providing information to law enforcement.
Kiser is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow in Baltimore. The terms of his plea agreement include a sentence between 8-10 years.
Kiser remains in detention, according to a news release from the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.
According to facts stated in the plea agreement, Kiser went to a Taneytown gunsmithing store on May 8, 2018 and asked the owner to take the parts from a firearm that Kiser had brought into the store with him, and place them on a stripped receiver that Kiser planned to obtain from another store.
The owner of the store knew Kiser and believed that Kiser had previously been convicted of crimes that would prohibit him from possessing firearms or ammunition, according to the release.
When an ATF investigator visited the gunsmithing store the next day to check for compliance, the owner of the store told the investigator about the request. The ATF investigator opened a criminal investigation of Kiser, according to the statement.
The following day, May 10, Kiser provided the owner of the gunsmithing store with an AR-556 rifle; a PWA, Model Commando receiver; and a Model A-15 receiver. Kiser asked the owner to place a forward grip on the AR-556 rifle and take the parts off of the PWA Commando and place them on the A-15 receiver, according to the statement.
Law enforcement asked the owner to contact Kiser on May 11 and tell him the firearms were ready. Law enforcement arrested him as he walked into the store, according to the statement.
He was charged in Carroll County charges related to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and released on $5,000 unsecured personal bond.
Jason Paul Kiser, of the 4000 block of Francis Scott Key Highway, was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm with a felony conviction, three counts of illegal possession of a firearm and two counts of illegal possession of ammunition.
The store owner was identified as a witness by law enforcement in charging documents, according to the release.
On July 17, 2018, early in the morning, the store owner awoke to see his vehicle, parked outside his residence, on fire, according to the release.
Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal investigated the scene and located DNA evidence from a glove and bolt cutters that showed a match to Kiser’s DNA. Investigators categorized the fire as an arson, based on the DNA evidence, according to the release.
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur said, “We take witness tampering and witness retaliation very seriously. Those who tamper with or retaliate against a witness will face federal prosecution and federal prison, where there is no parole — ever,” according to the news release.
Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal collaborated in the investigation.