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June 9, 2014

Kokomo man gets 7 years in federal prison

A Kokomo man with prior felony convictions was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for possession firearms while being a convicted felon.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced Michael A. Hiers, 40, to the seven years Friday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis after he was convicted on one count of felony possession of a firearm.

“Taking those with prior felonies and firearms off of the streets is a top priority of this office,” said Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney. “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 Hiers had posted photos to a Facebook account and a known white supremacist webpage. There were two photos, both showing Hiers in klan 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.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Hiers had prior burglary convictions in Miami County in 1994 and in Knox County in 1996.

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.

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