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Two Missouri Men Face Federal Firearms Charges After Traveling To Kenosha

Scott Olson
Getty Images
People walk past a building that was reduced to rubble after being burned during recent rioting following the shooting of Jacob Blake on August 28 in Kenosha.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced Thursday that two Missouri men who were arrested Sept. 1 in Pleasant Prairie have been charged with illegal possession of firearms.

The criminal complaints against Michael Karmo, 40, and Cody Smith, 33, say that the FBI detained the men at the La Quinta Hotel & Inn in Pleasant Prairie after a law enforcement agency in Iowa got a tip that the men were traveling to Kenosha “to loot and possibly ‘pick people off.’”

FBI agents allegedly found multiple firearms, along with a silencer, ammunition, body armor, a drone and other materials after searching the men’s vehicle and hotel room. According to the U.S. Attorney, both men have prior felony convictions, which means they were not allowed to possess firearms at the time.

The criminal complaint states that in an interview with law enforcement, Smith said he and Karmo traveled to Kenosha for a President Trump rally.

>>Trump Praises Law Enforcement In Visit To Kenosha

Trump visited Kenosha Tuesday and met with law enforcement and business owners. During that visit, Trump denounced looting and violence that has taken place in Kenosha following protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Karmo allegedly told investigators that he and Smith were part of the 417 Second Amendment Militia, and that the men drove to Kenosha to “see for themselves” what was happening with the riots. According to the complaint, Karmo said the pair planned to travel to Portland, Oregon after Kenosha – another site of protests and unrest related to racial justice.

Emily is WUWM's education reporter.
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