Tariq Ameen "Raw" Lowe, 29, of 1546 W. Fourth St., pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges related to his participation in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine throughout the city. A teary-eyed and regretful Lowe quietly accepted his sentence - seven to 14 years in state prison with credit for time served.
"Your conduct probably destroyed a lot of lives," Judge Marc E. Lovecchio told Lowe during sentencing.
Lowe entered his guilty plea just weeks after his brother and co-conspirator Naafi Lowe, 25, pleaded guilty to similar charges. Both Lowes were sentenced to seven to 14 years in state prison.
"I hurt more than you," Lowe's mother told him in the courtroom. "I have two sons being taken away."
Additional alleged co-conspirators include Kahlil June "C" Fulks, 26, and Joseph T. "Buck" Wilson, 32, who are being held at Lycoming County Prison awaiting trial.
"What hurts the most is throwing away what I threw away," Lowe said.
Lowe sold about 288 grams of crack cocaine valued at $15,000 to a confidential informant between Sept. 9, 2011, and June 14. He also facilitated the transfer of a .40 caliber pistol to the informant.
"It's a very significant set of crimes over a long period of time, with significant impact to the community. You have to go in a sufficient amount of time to reflect on the seriousness of the offense," Lovecchio said.
Weeping, Lowe listened closely as the judge asked him what life circumstances led him to this point.
"I got my fiancee pregnant and left college to be a financial support. I slipped up and allowed greed to take over," Lowe said.
Lowe pleaded guilty to 12 counts of drug possession with intent to deliver; 15 counts of criminal use of a cell phone; seven counts of conspiracy to maufacture and deliver drugs; one count of carrying a firearm without a license; one count of unauthorized transfer of a firearm to another person; one count of corrupt organizations; and one count of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered.
Had Lowe's case gone to trial, he could have faced more than 60 years behind bars.
"We'll get through this," Tariq's mother told him. "You can do it. You have to do it."