Woodbury Felon Arrested, Charged with Illegal Possession of Firearm

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal criminal complaint has been filed against a Woodbury man charging him with illegal possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents and a law enforcement affidavit, on October 18, 2022, law enforcement observed what appeared to be a narcotics transaction between Jason Steven Kearns, 38, and the occupant of a vehicle parked outside of Kearns’s Woodbury residence. Law enforcement initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle, searched it, and found approximately one half-pound of methamphetamine. Following the traffic stop, law enforcement obtained and executed a search warrant at Kearns’s home. As officers approached the residence, Kearns fled on a motorcycle, carrying what appeared to be a package of methamphetamine in his jacket. Officers attempted to stop Kearns, but he was able to escape. Law enforcement recovered three firearms from the residence.

On November 14, 2022, law enforcement encountered Kearns in the driver’s seat of a truck outside of a restaurant in Woodbury. The officers called for backup and two Woodbury Police squad vehicles arrived and attempted to stop Kearns by activating their lights. One squad vehicle stopped in front of Kearns’s truck and the other approached from the side. Kearns accelerated his truck forward, ramming the police vehicle head-on. Kearns reversed his truck and drove into a curb and was pinned by the two police vehicles. Kearns exited his vehicle and ran from officers on foot to a parking lot across the street. Officers saw that Kearns had his right hand on what appeared to be a semiautomatic pistol. Officers drew their firearms and issued multiple commands to Kearns to drop his firearm. Kearns continued walking through the parking lot and then stopped and knelt down, still refusing to drop the firearm. Kearns stated to officers that he had a firearm in his hand. Eventually, Kearns dropped the firearm and surrendered and was taken into custody. The firearm, a Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic pistol, was loaded with a round chambered and 11 rounds in the magazine. Kearns was also carrying a large knife on his person. After searching Kearns’s truck, officers recovered quantities of methamphetamine, hypodermic needles, and a digital scale.

Because Kearns has multiple prior felony convictions including assault and armed robberies, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

Kearns is charged with one count of possession of firearms as a felon. He made his initial appearance earlier today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung. He was ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing on November 28, 2022.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Washington County Drug Task Force, and the Woodbury Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily A. Polachek and Thomas Calhoun-Lopez are prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.