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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Indicted For Illegally Possessing A Firearm Following Violent Assault and Armed Robbery

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

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Kelvin Canales, 21, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested and charged by Indictment with possession of a firearm by a felon stemming from an incident in which he allegedly violently assaulted a victim before disposing of the weapon. Canales made his initial appearance on these charges in federal court earlier today.

According to the Indictment, Canales allegedly robbed a victim of his cell phone on a sidewalk in North Philadelphia. After the defendant returned to his car, he re-approached the victim and allegedly shot the victim multiple times in the back. Video footage shows Canales then fleeing the area. Court documents further allege that, approximately an hour later, the defendant crashed his car in a single-car accident. When paramedics arrived and attempted to speak with the defendant, he allegedly fled the accident scene, walked behind a row of houses and hid a loaded firearm in a trashcan.

“I have said many times in recent months that our Office is determined to continue doing everything we can to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia by being ‘All Hands On Deck,’” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “When someone illegally possesses a firearm after sustaining a felony conviction, it is a very serious federal crime. In this case, the defendant is facing a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, a 5-year period of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Eckert.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated July 27, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses