Man sentenced to 20 years for firing gun into the air

Zane Memeger The office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Zane Memeger announced the conviction of Francis Aponte on Wednesday. Credit: DOJ

A four-time felon was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday after being convicted of firing an illegal gun into the air, the office of U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger announced.

Francis Aponte, 47, was convicted in December of gun possession, and as a previously convicted felon faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

On June 17, 2012, Aponte was spotted by two Philadelphia police officers standing on the sidewalk near Fourth Street and Indiana Avenue in Fairhill, shooting a .380-caliber Indian Arms handgun into the air.

Aponte tossed the gun to the ground when he saw officers approaching, after which he was arrested.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, along with Philadelphia police.

Aponte was previously convicted by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office of robbery in October 1996 and received a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison. He was also convicted of drug trafficking three times, in December 1996, March 2010 and October 2010.

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