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Altoona man gets 3 to 6 years in gun thefts

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A man accused of stealing guns from an Altoona residence in October 2019 will serve three to six years in prison.

Cameron M. Mease, 32, rendered guilty pleas Thursday in Blair County Court. He also faces 10 years’ probation.

Mease also was ordered to pay toward $17,000 in restitution to the owner of the guns and the owner’s insurance company.

That restitution is to be shared with co-defendants Kristi A. Carroll of Altoona and Brianne N. Allen of Cresson, District Attorney Pete Weeks told President Judge Elizabeth Doyle, who accepted Mease’s pleas to 18 counts of theft and 18 counts of prohibited possession of a firearm.

The judge also accepted Mease’s pleas to single counts of conspiracy to commit drug delivery, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mease, represented by defense attorney John Siford, apologized in court for his actions.

Altoona police arrested him in December 2020 after investigating a report of stolen guns. The owner advised police on Oct. 15, 2020, that two pistols were missing from his residence, then contacted police again on Oct. 31 and advised that he was now missing more than two dozen guns.

Charges against Mease indicate that he was living at the gun owner’s residence when the guns went missing. When the owner questioned him about the missing guns, Mease packed and left, telling the owner he was checking himself into a drug rehabilitation program.

After police arrested Mease in December 2020, he allegedly admitted to stealing the guns after finding a key to the owner’s gun safe. One of the sales, Mease told police, brought $700 and four bricks of heroin. The sale of two other guns, he told police, brought about $600.

In early 2021, Altoona police charged Allen and Carroll in connection with their alleged roles in the stealing of guns to be bartered for drugs and cash.

At that time, police reported having security video showing them with Mease at the residence when the guns were stolen.

In early August, Carroll rendered guilty pleas to criminal conspiracy and theft offenses in exchange for a sentence with 2.5 to five years’ incarceration, court records show. That sentence is to follow a sentence of 2.5 to 10 years’ imposed for guilty pleas to criminal conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver in her related case.

Court records show Allen’s charges are still pending and that she’s free on bail. A review of her charges in county court are slated for Nov. 1.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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