Missouri men arrested with numerous weapons near Kenosha protests

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Two men from Missouri were arrested with firearms, ammunition, and body armor near the Kenosha protests this week. The FBI tracked down the men at a hotel in Pleasant Prairie after receiving a tip the men wanted to take part in looting “and possibly ’pick people off,’” according to the criminal complaint.

Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Michael Karmo, 40, with being a Felon in Possession of Firearms and Ammunition and Cody Smith, 33, with Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by a Prohibited Person and Aiding and Abetting a Felon’s Possession of Firearms.

According to the complaint, the FBI found weapons and ammunition in their car and their hotel room:

  • Black EP Armory AR-15 with muzzle device and optic, no serial number
  • Mossberg 500 AB 12-gauge shotgun
  • Taurus PT92AF 9mm handgun
  • Ruger 9mm handgun with one round in the chamber and one magazine containing nine 9mm rounds
  • Ruger case containing two 17-round, 9mm pistol magazines, fully loaded, plus three 9mm rounds
  • Remington 9mm Luger FMJ, 115-grain 100-round box with 67 rounds
  • Four 30-round 5.56x45 caliber rifle magazines; one empty, one with two rounds, two partially loaded with green-tip ammunition
  • Five 12-gauge shotgun shells
  • 131 12-gauge shotgun shells
  • Two 15-round, 9mm handgun magazines, unloaded
  • Homemade silencer-type device
  • Firearm muzzle attachment
  • 9mm magazine, partially loaded
  • Black Molle tactical gear
  • Army ACU pattern body armor
  • Folding knife with 5 1/2″ serrated blade
  • Dagger with 8 3/4″ tanto blade with sheath
  • Twisted cable survival saw
  • Typhoon drone with components in case

The person who tipped off police said they were worried by Karmo’s increasing conspiracy theories and “crazy” political talk, and said Karmo would buy firearms through the mail and shave down parts to make them untraceable by law enforcement.

Karmo and Smith told investigators they came to Kenosha for President Trump’s rally on September 1 and wanted to see proof of the rioting in Kenosha for themselves.

Smith said most of the weapons belong to Karmo. Karmo denied having any weapons except an air rifle but said his fingerprints might be on the cases due to moving the luggage around. Karmo said after Kenosha they planned on going to Portland to see the rioting there and “that he would be willing to “take action” if police were defunded.”

Karmo has prior convictions for receiving known stolen property, vehicle theft, burglary, being a felon in possession of a firearm, evading a peace officer resulting in injury or death, and possession of controlled substances. Smith was prohibited from owning a firearm due to a domestic violence charge in California

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