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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

July 12, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney
(612) 664-5611

Career Criminal Indicted Federally for Possessing a .45-Caliber Pistol

MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 42-year-old career criminal was indicted for possessing a .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Michael Scott Canfield, of St. Paul, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that on June 25, 2012, Canfield possessed the gun. Court records indicate police arrested him in Stillwater for allegedly burglarizing several homes, and the weapon was found nearby.

Because he is a felon, Canfield is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior felony convictions include unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Ramsey County in 1988, damage to property in Ramsey County in 1989, receiving stolen property in Ramsey County in 1991 and again in 1993, theft in Ramsey County in 1992 and again in 1994, fleeing a peace officer in Ramsey County in 2006, receiving stolen property in Kanebec County in 1993, second-degree burglary in Sherburne County in 1996, fleeing police in a motor vehicle in Dakota County in 2006, first-degree burglary (two counts) in Stearns County in 2006, and recklessly endangering safety in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, in 2000.

Since at least three of Canfield's prior offenses constitute crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case, if Canfield is found guilty, will be subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. And because the
federal system does not have parole, offenders spend virtually their entire prison sentences behind bars. All sentences, however, are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States ATF and the Stillwater Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.

Note, this case is part of PSN, a comprehensive, strategic approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN, launched by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2001, encourages cooperative, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement and crime prevention efforts.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.