HARTVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced Thursday he filed federal charges against two Hartville, Mo. men with firearms charges after they traveled to the Kenosha area.
Michael M. Karmo, 40, and Cody E. Smith, 33 face charges of illegal possession of firearms. Authorities arrested them at a hotel Wednesday in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, on September 1, the Kenosha Police Department advised FBI a law enforcement agency in Iowa received a tip Karmo and an unidentified male were in possession of firearms and traveling from Missouri to Kenosha, Wisconsin. After receiving consent to search Karmo and Smith’s vehicle and hotel room, FBI agents recovered an Armory AR-15 assault rifle, a Mossberg 500 AB 12-Gauge shotgun, two handguns, a silencer, ammunition, body armor, a drone, and other materials. Karmo has prior felony convictions. Smith has a prior misdemeanor domestic battery conviction. Consequently, both Karmo and Smith were prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition on September 1.
A federal complaint says the men are roommates in Hartville. It says a person who had been in contact with the men told law enforcement officers the men said they were going to Kenosha to loot and possibly “pick people off.”
The complaint says Smith told federal gents the men attended a rally for President Trump in Kenosha on September 1, and wanted to see proof of the rioting. And the document says Karmo told investigators the men were part of the 417 Second Amendment Militia, and decided to drive to Kenosha to “see for themselves” what was going on. It says Karmo stopped in Iowa to visit someone he knew, and he was offended that person commented that Karmo and Smith looked like they were going to Kenosha to shoot people.
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Kenosha Police Department, the Village of Pleasant Prairie Police Department, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office, and local law enforcement in the state of Iowa. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard G. Frohling and Margaret B. Honrath.
They each could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.