Bellefonte man pleads guilty in federal firearms case

A Bellefonte man has admitted he illegally possessed firearms and conspired with a Lycoming County gun dealer.

Christopher A. Haupt, 45, Wednesday pleaded guilty in U.S. Middle District Court to a conspiracy charge and is facing up to an additional five years in prison. He is in jail in an unrelated Centre County case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Samuelson said the gun dealer, Franklin D. Lowe, was aware when he hired Haupt that he was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms.

The prosecutor listed numerous weapons, including an unregistered Uzi found in Haupt’s garage and home in June 2009, that he had either purchased from Lowe or were given to him.

The government will not make a recommendation on a sentence, but Samuelson noted that Haupt has been cooperating in the investigation, including voluntarily surrendering the Uzi and a silencer.

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. He is awaiting sentencing.