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Press Release

Two Missouri Men Charged with Firearms Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today that Michael M. Karmo (40) and Cody E. Smith (33) of Missouri have been charged by criminal complaint with illegal possession of firearms after being arrested on September 1, 2020, at a hotel in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, on September 1, 2020, the Kenosha Police Department advised FBI that a law enforcement agency in Iowa had received a tip that Karmo and an unidentified male were in possession of firearms and traveling from Missouri to Kenosha, Wisconsin.  FBI agents subsequently located and detained Karmo and Smith at a hotel in Pleasant Prairie, which is located near Kenosha.  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 and acknowledged regular drug use.  Consequently, both Karmo and Smith were prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition on September 1, 2020. 

The criminal complaint charges Karmo with violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Felon in Possession of a Firearm).  The criminal complaint charges Smith with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 2 (Aiding and Abetting a Felon’s Possession of Firearms); 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) (Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by a Prohibited Person – Misdemeanor Domestic Violence); and 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) (Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by a Prohibited Person – Unlawful User of a Controlled Substance).  Each of these offenses carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervision after release from prison.

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.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Each defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.    

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at


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For further information contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales                                 

(414) 297-1700


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Updated September 3, 2020