U.S. prosecutors initially accused Pace of trying to burn down the station and charged him with attempted arson and receiving and threatening the use of an explosive through interstate commerce.
However, Pace pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of illegally making a firearm. Assistant public defender Eugene Ohm told U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras that Pace did not admit in a videoconference plea hearing to intending to damage or destroy the station.
The felony charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to seek no more than four years at sentencing, scheduled for March 3, about half the estimated federal sentencing guidelines range Pace faces.