Bellefonte man charged in federal firearms case

For the CDTApril 1, 2014 

— A Bellefonte man has been charged with conspiracy in a federal firearms case in which a Lycoming County gun dealer already has pleaded guilty.

Christopher A. Haupt, 45, on Tuesday was charged in U.S. Middle District Court. He has agreed to plead guilty

Franklin D. Lowe, who is awaiting sentencing, admitted when he pleaded guilty that beginning in 2006 he employed an individual who he knew was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.

That individual, Haupt, attended an Oct. 4, 2008, real estate auction in Baileyville, where he purchased six handguns for Lowe, court documents allege.

Haupt, along with Lowe, are accused of falsifying Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms forms to reflect weapons were purchased by a third person.

The criminal information lists the weapons, including an unregistered machine gun, that Haupt is alleged to have possessed and purchased for Lowe until 2009.

Haupt is facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison but the plea agreement states he will cooperate with authorities.

Lowe pleaded guilty to illegal firearms activity and federal income tax evasion. The latter accused him of understating his income in 2009 to claim a $534,419 refund when he owed $55,754.

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