Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 01, 2024
Philadelphia Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Illegal Firearm Possession Used in Violent AttackSource: Jeffrey M. Vinocur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Philadelphia man will be spending the next decade behind bars for illegally brandishing a firearm that he later used to violently rob and shoot an unsuspecting victim. Kelvin Canales, 29, was handed a 120-month prison term, followed by three years of supervised release, and was also smacked with a $100 fine, as declared by US District Court Judge Karen S. Marston. The sentencing, announced by US Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero, comes after Canales pleaded guilty on November 29, 2023, to the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to the Department of Justice, the chilling episode unfolded on April 21, 2021, when Canales mugged a pedestrian for their cell phone in Northern Philadelphia. After initially fleeing the scene, Canales doubled back only to shoot the victim multiple times in the back. He tried to escape once again after crashing his car and attempted to cunningly conceal the loaded gun in a nearby trash can during evasion from the authority.

US Attorney Romero asserted that Canales' disregard for the law and his history of violent crime represented a grave threat to the community. "Today's sentencing of Canales for possession of a firearm keeps a dangerous man off the streets. It reinforces our commitment, in cooperation with our law enforcement partners, to keep Philadelphia safe and fight violent crime," Romero underscored. The weight of Canales' sentence reflects an intensified pursuit to curb such terrorizing acts.

Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Philadelphia Field Division Eric DeGree emphasized the ferocity with which they will prosecute to safeguard neighborhoods: “Violent criminals who attack randomly like Kelvin Canales did will be prosecuted vigorously to ensure justice for the victims and to make our communities safer.” It is through the partnership of the ATF Philadelphia Field Division and the Philadelphia Police Department that cases like this one can come to a head.

The case was part of the broader initiative, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), aimed to unite law enforcement agencies at all levels and the communities they serve. Launched on May 26, 2021, the revamped violent crime reduction strategy rests upon fostering community trust, supporting violence-prevention organizations, setting targeted enforcement priorities, and quantifying the results. Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Eckert led the charge against Canales, who will now face the consequences of his actions in federal prison.