Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 27, 2012

Man pleads guilty to charges connected with theft ring

VALDOSTA — Faced with charges surrounding the theft of firearms and all-terrain vehicles from North Georgia and South Florida residences and interstate transport of the stolen goods to a re-seller, a Valdosta man entered guilty pleas when he appeared in federal court this week.

Robert Kier Jr., 30, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of stolen firearms and one count of possession of stolen goods, valued at more than $5,000, and moved interstate, according to court officials.

Kier confessed to stealing a Shearwater boat in Marion County, Fla., back in October 2010, and selling the watercraft in Coffee County, Ga., for $3,000, according to a co-defendant.

Kier admitted to stealing 23 weapons during two burglaries in Echols County between October and November 2010; some of the stolen goods were recovered after a co-conspirator attempted to sell them in Coffee County and in Florida. The stolen goods included rifles, shotguns, handguns and three all-terrain vehicles which were found in Florida in a trailer that had been stolen from Lanier County, according to court records.

Kier confessed to stealing a Ford truck in Madison County, Fla., on Christmas Day 2011. The truck was recovered in Lowndes County after it had been involved in a wreck.

Kier’s co-defendants entered guilty pleas earlier this year. Cedric Bell, 36, of Valdosta, had been with Kier during a burglary and several transactions between Kier and Troy Sirmans, 46, of Wray, according to the U.S. Attorney of the Middle District of Georgia’s office.

During Bell’s plea hearing, he said he protested one of the burglaries but admitted to never speaking up to law enforcement. Bell stated that he wasn’t present at every transaction between Kier and Sirmans, but he estimated he witnessed the exchanges of roughly $200,000 in guns, trailers, lawn equipment and all-terrain vehicles, according to records.

Sentencing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and three years supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Echols County Sheriff’s Office with cooperation from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, the Madison County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and several other South Georgia and North Florida law-enforcement agencies.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. McCuller prosecuted the case before Senior U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson.

Text Only
Local News
  • 140422-Dan_Keplinger003.jpg The Art of Determination

    Artist Dan Keplinger invests passion into his frenetic pieces. His line work teems with energy. An unexpected trait in the often technically precise medium of printmaking.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140422-RibbonCutting.jpg Learning center named in Horne’s honor

    Noting his lengthy legacy in educating the region's young people, Valdosta City Schools officially renamed the Pinevale Learning Center Tuesday in honor of the late Maceo A. Horne Jr.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rose: Dismiss ‘Quitman 11’ case

    Following the second mistrial in the case of a Brooks County woman accused of voter fraud, a local civil rights leader has called for the issue to be dismissed, but prosecutors plan to seek prosecution for a third time.

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawsuit challenging Ga. gay marriage ban filed

    A gay rights group filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

    April 23, 2014

  • Commission denies City’s annexation request

    Lowndes County received an annexation request from the City of Hahira for five parcels of land that spanned approximately 66 acres, for the purpose of future development, and because the applicant sought city water and sewer.

    April 23, 2014

  • Confederate Memorial Day observed this weekend

    The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Valdosta Chapter 471, will observe Confederate Memorial Day, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

    April 23, 2014

  • connell book review.jpg Literary Guild hears Fannie Flagg’s latest

    “Reading for fun is great, but learning while reading is super,” Sandra Connell told the Literary Guild at the April meeting.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Performance index tops Lowndes school board meeting

    Lowndes County Board of Education celebrated the results of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index scores during its regular session Monday night.

    April 23, 2014

  • N1401P14008C.TIF Sheriff hosts Prescription Take-Back Day

    The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused medications this Saturday as a part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results