Hogsett Announces Kokomo Man’s Sentence For Illegal Firearm Possession
Hogsett continues aggressive fight against illegal firearm possession to protect Hoosiers
KOKOMO – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced a sentence for Michael A. Hiers, 40, of Kokomo, on one count of felony possession of a firearm. Hiers was sentenced to seven years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
“Taking those with prior felonies and firearms off of the streets is a top priority of this office,” said Hogsett. “If you have already been acquainted with the American justice system and still do not obey the law, we will prosecute you.”
In 2013, FBI investigators received information that an individual had posted photos to a Facebook account and a known white supremacist webpage. There were two photos, both showing Hiers in clan attire, including a hood, while holding a handgun and a machete. Based on the tattoos in the photographs and the known tattoos of Hiers, a federal search warrant was issued to search Hiers’ Kokomo residence for firearms and ammunition.
In July 2013, federal investigators executed a search of Hiers’ home and found a Bryco Jennings, 9 mm handgun loaded with ammunition, as well as additional ammunition in Hiers’ bedroom. Hiers told investigators he did own the gun but thought it did not work. He also stated he had intentions of fixing the firearm.
Hiers had prior convictions as a felon. In 1994 he was convicted of burglary in Miami County and in 1996 he was again convicted of burglary, this time in Knox County. Because of these prior convictions, federal law makes it illegal for Hiers to own or possess a handgun or firearm of any kind.
“This case shows the success of our Violent Crime Initiative. One of the most effective ways to prevent violence in our communities is to make sure those with prior felonies are not armed,” said Hogsett.
FBI Indianapolis Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin P. Lyons stated, “The FBI will continue to work with our state and local partners to remove firearms from the hands of convicted felons.”
The United States Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative began in 2011, and is intended to focus on the “worst of the worst” violent offenders by marshaling federal resources to provide local partners the additional tools they may need to succeed in their effort to promote peace. In 2011, only 14 firearms charges were filed. Since then, over 325 firearms cases have been prosecuted. By charging these cases federally, violent felons must serve 85 % of their sentence at a minimum.