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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 18, 2020

Dangerous Tennessee Felon Sentenced to 18 Years for Hopkinsville Carjacking

PADUCAH, Ky. – United States Senior District Court Judge Thomas B. Russell sentenced a Clarksville, Tennessee convicted felon to 18 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release for the defendant’s role in the February 18, 2019, Hopkinsville, Kentucky carjacking, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman. There is no parole in the federal system.

“When you put families and our law enforcement at risk though armed carjacking and shooting at a police officer, then be prepared to face decades in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “This lawlessness will not be tolerated in the Western District of Kentucky.”

“During this armed carjacking - the defendant, Keith Kuzyk, shot a Hopkinsville, Kentucky Police Officer. While that charge is being adjudicated in state court, the federal sentence of 18 years in prison without the possibility of parole is appropriate for this violent crime,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Field Division. “ATF is thankful to our law enforcement partners who risk their lives to protect our communities.”

Keith A Kuzyk pled guilty to carjacking, use and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, on August 20, 2020, in United States District Court.

Specifically, Kuzyk admitted to taking a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe on February 18, 2019, in Christian County, Kentucky, by force, violence, and intimidation, with the intent to cause death and serious bodily harm to four identified victims.

Further, Kuzyk admitted to the use, carry and discharge of a Bersa, model Thunder 380 Plus, .380 AUTO semiautomatic pistol, and ammunition, during the carjacking, a crime of violence, as well as possession of a Spike’s Tactical, model ST15, multi (5.56 millimeter/.223) semiautomatic rifle. At the time of the offense, Kuzyk was knowingly a felon in possession of a firearm. Kuzyk was previously convicted of Aggravated Assault and Evading Arrest, Theft over $1,000, and First Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine); all felonies.

Kuzyk was further ordered to pay victim restitution in the amount of $174.00.

Co-defendant Anthony Johnson, of Clarksville, TN, was sentenced by Senior Judge Russell, in United States District Court, on November 18, 2020, to 84 months imprisonment, followed by three years’ supervised release after pleading guilty to carjacking, aiding and abetting, and the use, carry, and brandish of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seth Hancock and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Kentucky State Police; Hopkinsville Police Department; Christian County Sheriff’s Office; Hopkinsville/Christian County Violent Crime Task Force; Clarksville Police Department; and Montgomery County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Kentucky.  A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. 

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Updated December 18, 2020