Philadelphia Man Convicted After Trial for Unlawful Possession of Firearm

FirearmImage by Mike Gunner

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Kenneth Blakeney, 29, of Philadelphia, PA, was convicted Friday at trial for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In March 2019, Philadelphia Police Officers pulled Blakeney over for a traffic violation in North Philadelphia, and they observed a gun in his car.  The defendant was a convicted felon at the time and was not allowed by law to possess a firearm.  The defendant fled from the police, leading officers on a car chase for multiple blocks until the defendant eventually jumped out of his car and ran. He was arrested several months later and was charged by federal indictment in October, 2019.

“The crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm is a serious offense, particularly in Philadelphia where gun violence is rampant,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “As the evidence presented at trial showed, Kenneth Blakeney illegally possessed a gun and then fled from police. Our Office is determined to continue doing everything we can to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia by being ‘All Hands On Deck’ to get criminals like this defendant off the streets for a long, long time.”

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“ATF is determined to make our streets safer by working with our local, state and federal partners,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division.  “We will always be committed to identifying and removing armed criminals from our communities.  The conviction of Kenneth Blakeney is an example of the strong partnership between ATF and the Philadelphia Police Department and a credit to the excellent work of the U.S Attorney’s Office.”

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.

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The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Jeanette Kang and Anthony Wzorek.

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