Retired federal judge pleads guilty to buying gun for Nazi sympathizer

PITTSBURGH — “Why did you purchase a gun for an alleged Nazi sympathizer?" Target 11′s Rick Earle asked.

“Persuasion over the years,” replied Karl Alexander.

You can customize your WPXI News App to receive local news alerts. CLICK HERE to find out how.

A former administrative law judge pleaded guilty to purchasing a gun for his friend, who is a convicted felon and alleged Nazi sympathizer, Dennis Riggs. Alexander was indicted by a federal grand jury.

Federal authorities arrested Riggs in January at a home in Troy Hill, where he lived with Alexander. Agents found a cache of weapons, ammunition, pictures of Adolph Hitler and swastikas on the wall. On his phone, investigators found video of a mosque shooting and a picture of the South Carolina church shooter.

Alexander told Channel 11 he never saw Riggs as someone who would do anything violent.

“I didn’t really see that very much in him. I think he likes Germany, but I never would see him as being one who would go out and demonstrate or start any kind of riots -- and certainly not to arrange to shoot someone,” said Alexander.

However, the feds disagreed, saying Riggs had the capability to act and an obsession with hate-based violence.

Alexander admitted in court he went with Riggs to buy the gun and lied on the forms. Alexander faces up to 10 years in jail, but federal authorities are recommending 2-3 years.

He will be sentenced in July, while Riggs remains in federal custody charged with illegal possession of a firearm.