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Press Release

Prolific Philadelphia Illegal Firearms Trafficker Convicted at Trial

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Kenneth Eugene Cherry, Jr., 31, of Philadelphia was convicted at trial of multiple criminal firearms offenses: dealing in firearms without a license, possession and transfer of a machine gun, possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and multiple counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

From August 2018 until February 2019, Cherry and other co-conspirators trafficked firearms from Virginia to Philadelphia, where Cherry illegally sold them on the street for profit. During this period, Cherry sold a total of 26 firearms to an undercover ATF operative, including two Glock “Auto Sear” machinegun conversion devices, sixteen semiautomatic handguns, and eight semiautomatic assault rifles, one of which had been cut down for purposes of concealment. Cherry also provided a large amount of ammunition with the firearms he sold.

“The defendant and others in this illegal gun trafficking organization endangered everyone in their midst on a daily basis by putting semiautomatic weapons on the streets illegally,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Thanks to our dedicated partners at ATF and our Office’s trial team, the defendant will now pay for his crimes and will no longer be allowed to menace the Philadelphia streets.”

“The conviction of Mr. Cherry is a victory not only for ATF but for the citizens of Philadelphia as this conviction exhibits a continued and collaborative effort to combat violent crime in our community,” said Donald Robinson, Special Agent in Charge for ATF Philadelphia Field Division. “Together with our partners at the Philadelphia Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office, we have been successful at dismantling a group dedicated to firearms trafficking in Philadelphia. ATF remains committed to working with our partners to combat violent crime by continuing to target firearms traffickers who are putting illegal guns out on our streets.”

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.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Miller.


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Updated August 27, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods