Thursday, May 5, 2022

Federal Charges Filed Against Philadelphia Man Who Allegedly Shot PPD SWAT Officer In February

The U.S. Attorney Office in Philadelphia released the below information:

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Kristian Reyes, 35, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested today by federal agents and charged by criminal complaint with firearms and drug offenses in connection with an incident earlier this year, during which a Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) officer was shot while executing a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.

The defendant is charged with using a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, illegally possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon, and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. According to the publicly filed complaint, Reyes was the subject of an active arrest warrant for state probation and parole violations. On February 11, 2022, Philadelphia Police SWAT Officers went to arrest the defendant at a property on the 100 block of West Lehigh Avenue in the Fairhill section of the city. After announcing themselves and receiving no response, officers breached the front door and went up a narrow stairwell to attempt to enter the third-floor apartment. The officers once again announced themselves as they made their way up the stairs. While they waited for equipment to gain access to the apartment, the leader of the SWAT entry team heard multiple popping sounds from inside the apartment and then felt a stinging sensation in his chest. When he looked down, he realized he had been shot.

The PPD SWAT officer was rushed to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Law enforcement officers later determined that the ceramic plate in the SWAT officer’s ballistics vest prevented more serious injury and likely saved his life.

Ultimately, the defendant was apprehended after attempting to escape by jumping from a third-floor window onto the roof, with a gun in his hand. Investigators recovered a Glock 9mm pistol from the roof. Ballistics comparison later confirmed that the gun was used in the shooting. Investigators also obtained a search warrant for the third-floor apartment and recovered fired cartridge casings, nearly 100 additional rounds of ammunition, and an enormous inventory of alleged narcotics including over 3,500 fentanyl pills, heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and nearly $3,000 cash.

“As we have said many times since launching the All Hands On Deck initiative, our Office and our federal partners are doing everything we can to support the Philadelphia Police Department and prosecute cases federally when appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Here, as alleged in the complaint, the defendant brazenly and recklessly fired a weapon through a wall at law enforcement officers in the middle of the day in busy neighborhood; an offense that certainly meets the criteria for federal prosecution. We are committed to bringing the full might of the federal justice system to this battle against criminals in our city.”

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison with a thirty-five year mandatory minimum sentence.

The case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Martin.

This case is part of the DEA’s new initiative, Operation Overdrive, aimed at combatting the rising rates of drug-related violent crime and overdose deaths plauguing American communities. Operation Overdrive, which launched February 1, 2022, uses a data-driven, intelligence-led approach to identify and dismantle criminal drug networks operating in areas with the highest rates of violence and overdoses. DEA, working in partnership with its fellow federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, has mapped the threats and initiated enforcement operations against those networks in 34 locations across 23 states.

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

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