Armed Pa. vigilante group say they were off to rescue 16-year old girl who requested extraction from drug scene gone deadly
The videolink arraignment for the ‘rescue misson’, Wednesday morning. Seen here Kimberly Arendt, John Cramsey and Dean Smith
It was an ironic cover story that hinted at a group of civilians deciding to break the law in order to maintain law and protect citizens
The Pennsylvania based band of self-styled vigilantes arrested at the Holland Tunnel by by the Ports Authority claimed that they were on a rescue mission to ‘liberate’ a young heroin user who had reached out for help. According to the sole female member of the ‘force’, the 16-year-old victim had woken up beside a friend in a new jersy motel only to find out that friend had died of a heroin overdose during the night. She then sent out an S.O.S, in response her band put togather enough fire power to take out a platoon and embarked on the liberation trip to New Jersey.
But was this the truth? The prosecutors office is not buying the story of the three who were stopped by cops at the NJ toll plaza. The DA described them as a menace to the society who
only failed in their mission because the cracked windshield of their colorful truck drew police attention, Tuesday morning. Describing the scene, the Port Authority police discounted any links to terrorism and noted that “A car like that would have drawn any cop’s attention,”
John Cramsey, Dean Smith(center) and Kimberly Arendt after their arrest, Tuesday
The Pennsylvania woman, Kimberly Arendt, 29, of Lehighton, Pa., it turns out is a former youth group counselor, who claims that she was contacted by the teen heroin addict and she turned to the men arrested with her for help. Arendt to authorities “We were trying to save my girl,”
The three, Arendt, John Cramsey, 50, of Greenville, Pa., and Dean Smith, 53, of Whitehall,all from Pennsylvania were arrested Tuesday morning arrest at the toll plaza outside the Holland Tunnel in an SUV with a large cache of military grade weapons (handguns, rifles, vests and ammo). They were arraigned Wednesday,via video link from the Hudson County Correctional Facility. Seemingly unperturbed, all three sat through the process in prison scrubs as bail was set at $75,000 each. The defense say they plan to ask for a reduction in the bail money.
The mobile ‘arms depot’ used by the suspects
However, the prosecution led by Assistant District Attorney Tom Zuppa told the judge “These defendants pose a threat to the community,” “All of these weapons, the assault weapons and high capacity magazines, have the potential to bring danger to the destination of these defendants.”
Earlier a riend to one of the defendants, Lyn Baker, gave an insight to the involvement of John Cramsey in the events. She said “The young girl had reached out to (Arendt) on the text. John said, ‘We can go get her.’”
Apparanetly Cramsey, who had lost his daughter 20-year-old Alexandria to heroin overdose a months ago, knew Arendt from a summer camp where Arendt worked as a counselor. The trio then set out for Brooklyn N.Y.
Yet another friend Tommy Rodriguez, described Cramsey as a man on a mission to save young people from heroin: “He’s not a violent man,” “He’s very responsible. There was a post about a girl, and she was scared, and someone reached out to him for help.”
The group had maintained that the girl who sent the rescue signal woke up Monday morning alongside another young woman who died of a heroin overdose.
Informed sources however claim that the so called petrified teen who supposedly reached out for rescue told police ‘she didn’t need to be rescued’, neither could the Port police ascertain that the teen was ever in trouble
All three suspects face being charged for unlawful possession of an assault rifle, a handgun and a shotgun; possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines; transportation of an assault rifle and transportation of high-capacity magazines. Theay are likely to be charged with possession of a controlled substance after cops recovered marijuana along with one Valium and one Xanax from the neon-colored van.