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Press Release

Philadelphia Felon Found Guilty by Jury of Illegally Possessing a Firearm During June 2020 Civil Unrest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Steven Pennycooke, 36, of Philadelphia, PA, was convicted after trial of a single count of possession of a firearm by a felon arising from a looting incident during the period of civil unrest and mandatory curfew in the City of Philadelphia in Spring 2020.

In June 2020, Philadelphia Police officers responded to a 911 call reporting that two men were seen pushing a looted ATM down a street in West Philadelphia. When the officers approached the block indicated in the call, they observed two men standing in the street less than a half a block away from a looted ATM loaded onto a cart. When the officers got closer to the suspects, they observed the defendant throw something into a vehicle; and one of the officers looked through the vehicle’s window and observed a firearm in the backseat. As a previously convicted felon in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2011, Pennycooke was prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.

“The crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm is a serious offense, particularly in Philadelphia where gun violence has reached record-breaking proportions,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “As the evidence presented at trial showed, the defendant illegally possessed a loaded firearm that fortunately was secured by experienced Philadelphia Police officers who took the defendant into custody without incident. Our Office is determined to continue doing everything we can to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia by being ‘All Hands On Deck’ to support Philadelphia police and get criminals like this defendant off the streets for a long time.”

“Getting guns away from people not allowed to have them is vital as we battle violent crime in Philadelphia,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The FBI and our PPD partners will use every tool at our disposal to take criminals off the street, as we work to make Philadelphia safer. The folks who live, work, or visit here deserve nothing less.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexandra Lastowski and Derek Hines.


615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated April 21, 2022

Firearms Offenses