News and Press Releases

Two Armed Career Criminals Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison

August 1, 2012

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced two men, in separate cases, to 15 years in prison for being convicted felons who possessed firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins sentenced JOHN MICHAEL BAIRD, 40, of Sylacauga, and CODY RYAN KIZZIAH, 22, of Tuscaloosa, under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, which mandated a minimum 15-year sentence for their crimes.

"The community is safer today because these two career criminals are off the streets," Vance said. "These sentences should serve as a reminder to all convicted felons, particularly those repeatedly convicted of violent crimes, that the federal penalty for them possessing a firearm is severe."

A federal jury in Decatur convicted Baird on the illegal firearms possession charge in March. Baird had been convicted of 10 violent felony burglaries in state court prior to his federal indictment in November 2011, according to court records.

Kizziah pleaded guilty in March to one count of possessing firearms after having been convicted of a felony, and one count of selling stolen firearms. Kizziah was caught pawning guns he had stolen from his grandfather. Kizziah had been convicted in state court for three prior armed robberies.

The Cullman County Sheriff's Office joined with the ATF in investigating Baird's case. The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office assisted ATF in investigating Kizziah's case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Dimler prosecuted both cases.






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