State College man pleads guilty to illegally possessing semi-automatic rifle

A State College man has pleaded guilty to possessing guns illegally.

Dennis Eugene Lowe, 70, admitted to a federal judge that he had an M-1 Garand semi-automatic rifle and about 600 rounds of ammunition.

For some people, that wouldn’t be a problem. For Lowe, it was. According to the court, Lowe is a convicted felon.

In Centre County, he had DUIs in 1997, 1998 and 2003. He has criminal records in other counties, including Lycoming and Berks, and cases that range from bad checks to terroristic threats.

He has been sentenced to time in jail, and while the Pennsylvania cases visible through the state court’s system are all misdemeanors, some meet the U.S. attorney’s definition of “having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”

Lowe has been here before. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to the same charges.

The prosecution’s original charges were modified in documents filed Thursday. In May, the grand jury indictment cited 11 different weapons, including six handguns, three revolvers and a shotgun, as well as a variety of ammunition.

According to court documents, Magistrate Judge William Arbuckle granted Lowe pretrial release on July 5, but he was picked up by U.S. probation officers on Aug. 10 for violations of that release, including use of alcohol. In September, Arbuckle ordered him detained until trial.

While Lowe awaits sentencing, he has other pending cases.

In Centre County, he faces theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property charges for alleged theft of $1,400 in coins from Apple Hill Antiques, and a separate bad checks case for writing a $2,487 check to the owner of Creekside Antiques for merchandise taken from a display case at Apple Hill.

Trial in those cases has been continued.

In Union County, he faces misdemeanor bad checks and felony theft by deception charges.

Sentencing for the federal case has not yet been scheduled.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce