Bellefonte native to be sentenced for prison release violation

A Bellefonte native has been found to have violated terms of his fedeeral supervised release and is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. Middle District Court on March 26.

Eugene Wheeler, 45, whose criminal record dates to age 14, is serving an 11 1/2 to 23-month work-release eligible sentence in Centre County on a theft charge. He was on supervised release in the federal system when charged in November 2011.

Wheeler appeared before U.S. Judge Yvette Kane earlier this week, but she did not detain him for violating terms of his supervised release. However, she ordered him not to consume alcohol or frequent establishments were alcoholic beverages are the primary product.

The late Senior Judge Malcolm Muir in Williamsport imposed a 15-year sentence on Wheeler in 1997, which he completed in July 2010. He then began a five-year term of supervised release during which he was not to commit another crime.

His federal prison term was on charges of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun.

He had admitted breaking into the Mill Hall area home of his estranged wife on Nov. 5, 1995, while under the influence of alcohol and stealing three rifles and two shotguns. He claimed he did so because he feared his stepson would shoot him.