Missouri man who drove to Wisconsin during 2020 Kenosha protests sentenced on gun charges

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. (WFRV) – A Missouri man who has stated to be against Antifa and Black Lives Matter has been sentenced to federal prison on gun-related charges stemming from the 2020 protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

On December 29, Michael Karmo, a 42-year-old from Hartsville, Missouri, was sentenced to 64 months in federal prison for unlawfully possessing firearms despite a prior felony conviction. Karmo was also sentenced to two years of supervised release following his prison term.

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According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), during the summer of 2020, Karmo became intrigued by unrest taking place throughout the country.

Court records show that on July 1, 2020, Karmo texted a friend saying, “All I care about is f***ing up antifas and black lives matters mother f***ers these days,” and indicated that he had been “ driving back and forth across America going to where they be rioting the hardest.”

The release states that on August 31, 2020, Karmo and a friend decided to drive from Missouri to Kenosha during the protests of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Before leaving, Karmo took a photo of himself and his friend holding long guns and reportedly sent the photo to a woman in Iowa. Karmo also sent the woman a photo of a firearm with a large drum that he called the “game changer.”

After Karmo and his friend stopped to see the woman in Iowa, authorities say she became concerned and called the police.

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The FBI would later arrest Karmo and his friend in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, who, at the time, authorities say were in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, two 9mm handguns, 67 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 131 shotgun shells, what appeared to be a homemade silencer, multiple high-capacity magazines, a firearm muzzle attachment, a drone, body armor, tactical gear, a dagger, a confederate flag, and other items.

Court filings show that Karmo’s phone contained videos in which Karmo:

  • Detailed the firearms he had brought to Kenosha
  • Talked about being on the streets “when the thugs come out”
  • Stated that he would be ready to act if the police and National Guard were not “handling business”
  • Referred to protestors as “a bunch of victims”
  • Indicated a desire to “lay out” a protestor chanting “Justice for Jacob Blake.”

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 the Waverly (Iowa) Police Department.

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