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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Illegally Possessing a Firearm; Gun was Used in Violent Assault and Armed Robbery

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Kelvin Canales, 29, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Karen S. Marston to  120 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for possession of a firearm by a felon, stemming from an incident in which he violently assaulted a victim before disposing of the weapon.

On April 21, 2021, Canales robbed and assaulted a victim of his cell phone on a sidewalk in North Philadelphia. After the defendant returned to his car, he reapproached the victim and shot the victim multiple times in the back. Video footage shows Canales then fleeing the area. 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 trash can.

Canales pleaded guilty to the felon in possession charge on November 29, 2023.

"Kelvin Canales' possession of a firearm as a repeat offender with a history of violent crime was a threat to the larger community," said U.S. Attorney Romero. "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."

“This case is another example of ATF Philadelphia Field Division’s long history of partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department,” said Eric DeGree, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Philadelphia Field Division. “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.”

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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

Updated May 31, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods