A federal grand jury has indicted a local gun shop owner for allegedly knowingly employing a convicted felon to make illegal firearms purchases.
Franklin D. Lowe, 54, is named in a 25-count indictment, as is his All American Gun Shop at 350 Dudek Road in Old Lycoming Township, a business he owned and operated during the time of the allegations.
The alleged offenses occurred between Jan. 1, 2006, and Oct. 8, 2009, according to the indictment in U.S. Middle District Court, Williamsport.
Attempts to reach Lowe were not successful, and the telephone to the gun shop has been disconnected.
It is alleged that, between May 2008 and June 11, 2009, Lowe gave to an unnamed individual, known only to the grand jury, an unregistered 9 mm machine gun and a silencer, and instructed the individual to sell the gun and silencer and give him $2,000 from the sale, according to court documents.
Additional sales took place for other firearms, including pistols and revolvers, according to the indictment.
"It was part of the conspiracy, that Lowe would allow and direct an individual to possess firearms and conduct transactions with firearms which were purchased and sold at gun shows and elsewhere," the indictment reads.
Furthermore, it is alleged Lowe directed the "individual" to purchase firearms at an estate auction and took possession of the guns.
Old Lycoming Township Police records show the department had no problems with the gun store owner. "We never had a bad problem with him," said Police Chief William O. Solomon.
Solomon recalled the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms conducted a search warrant at the business last year, but the police department wasn't part of the investigation.
An official with District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt's office said the shop offered various types of firearms for sale, but he knew little else about the case.
Lowe faces charges of conspiracy, failure to make entry in records by federal firearms dealer/manufacturer, transfer of firearms to a prohibited person, failure by licensed dealer to keep paper records, transfer of a firearm violation, aiding and abetting transfer of firearms to a prohibited person, aiding and abetting possession of firearms by a convicted felon, possession of unregistered firearms and making a false statement.
Lowe's arraignment before a federal judge had not been scheduled as of Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Samuelson, the attorney prosecuting the case, said.