News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Career criminal indicted federally for possessing a .45-caliber pistol

July 11, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 42-year-old career criminal was indicted for possessing a .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Michael Scott Canfield, of St. Paul, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that on June 25, 2012, Canfield possessed the gun. Court records indicate police arrested him in Stillwater for allegedly burglarizing several homes, and the weapon was found nearby.

Because he is a felon, Canfield is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior felony convictions include “unauthorized use of a motor vehicle” in Ramsey County in 1988, “damage to property” in Ramsey County in 1989, “receiving stolen property” in Ramsey County in 1991 and again in 1993, “theft” in Ramsey County in 1992 and again in 1994, “fleeing a peace officer” in Ramsey County in 2006, “receiving stolen property” in Kanebec County in 1993, “second-degree burglary” in Sherburne County in 1996, “fleeing police in a motor vehicle” in Dakota County in 2006, “first-degree burglary” (two counts) in Stearns County in 2006, and “recklessly endangering safety” in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, in 2000.

Since at least three of Canfield’s prior offenses constitute crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case, if Canfield is found guilty, will be subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. And because the federal system does not have parole, offenders spend virtually their entire prison sentences behind bars. All sentences, however, are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Stillwater Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.

Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), an initiative launched by the
U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to
reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and
crime prevention partnerships that work to make our communities safer.

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