Schalk prosecution moves to federal system

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By Shane Farley
May 5, 2014 - 3:24:00 pm

A local man is facing federal charges in connection with his arrests resulting from multiple recent crime investigations in Cowley County.

24-year-old Colton Schalk of Arkansas City is charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition after a felony conviction.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 1, according to a report from the U.S. attorney's office.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred in December 2013 and February 2014, in Cowley County.

Schalk has felony convictions for theft and drug-related crimes from 2010, and thus is forbidden from owning a gun.

During a recent trip to Cowley County, Barry Grissom, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, said his office continually reminds county and district attorneys in Kansas about federal gun laws that can put convicted felons back in prison.

“We tell prosecutors, if he’s got a firearm, maybe a glock, or an assault rifle, whatever, and he’s a convicted felon, call us, we’ll take him off your hands,” Grissom said. “The law in Kansas for felons with guns is rather toothless. We (federal prosecutors) can send them away for 5, 10 or 15 years, depending on their criminal history.”

In December, Schalk was arrested on drug-related charges following a traffic stop. He was back in jail in February when he is said to have fled from Ark City police.

Following that incident, investigators found Schalk’s abandon vehicle a short time later with a gun and cash inside. Schalk was later arrested.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million on each drug count and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each firearm charge. The Arkansas City, Kan., Police Department investigated.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

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