Dean Smith, 53, John Cramsey, 50, and Kimberly Arendt, 20 described by cops as “self-styled vigilantes” charged with weapons possession, transport of a high-capacity magazine and transport of an assault firearm.
Cops arrested three “self-styled vigilantes” with loaded handguns, rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, a gun clip that says “America,” and bullet-resistant vests with the word “Police” written on them at the Holland Tunnel early Tuesday.
The trio was stopped on the New Jersey toll plaza for the tunnel at about 7:40 a.m. for driving a vividly colored red, black and green Dodge pickup with a cracked windshield, police said.
Police spotted a loaded pistol magazine inside the car, which also advertises for a Pennsylvania gun shop called Higher Ground Tactical, then searched it, finding seven loaded weapons, about 2,000 rounds of ammo and ballistic vests. The arsenal included five pistols, a shotgun and an assault rifle, four knives, 10 loaded clips of ammunition, and a military-grade helmet. All the guns were “locked and loaded,” a source said.
Some of the guns were found hidden in a passenger compartment. One of the clips had “United We Stand” written on it, and another had “America” on it.
Police also found drug paraphernalia in the car, and believe all three suspects are heavy heroin users, sources said. They may have been coming to Queens to rescue a woman, also involved with heroin, who was being held against her will, sources said.
“They may be self-styled vigilantes,” a source said.
The trio’s gaudily painted pickup was equipped with special lights and a front-end carrier containing a lime green cooler.
The name of an Emmaus, Penn. gun store called Higher Ground Tactical was also written several times on the pickup. A man who answered the phone at the gun store declined to comment on the incident.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said.
Two men in their 50’s, and a woman in her 20’s were arrested, police said. All three are white, sources said.
They were coming from Pennsylvania, police said. Charges are pending
A Port Authority police spokesman described the officer’s initiative in stopping the car as “astute.”
“The agency does not believe the incident is terrorism-related,” the spokesman said.
NYPD Counter-Terrorism tweeted Tuesday that they are monitoring the situation.
It was not immediately clear whether the guns were licensed in Pennsylvania.