Three More Defendants Plead Guilty in New Castle Oxycodone Distribution Ring
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Three residents of New Castle, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating the federal drug laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Christopher Klingensmith, 38; James Cracraft, 39; and Thomas Klingensmith, Jr., 40, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that between September 2008 and June 2011, a drug ring operated in the New Castle area, selling to drug users on the street nearly 50,000 highly-addictive narcotic pills containing oxycodone. Christopher Klingensmith was the leader of the drug ring here, which was supplied ocycodone by co-defendant Larry Dorsey from Florida. Dorsey transported an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 oxycodone on each of six trips he made to Western Pennsylvania. Witnesses saw Christopher Klingensmith with cantaloupe-sized bags of oxycodone, containing thousands of pills.
Drug cash was seized during the investigation, including more than $158,000 from a car stopped in North Carolina in September 2010. The car was being driven by co-defendant David Wooley, with Thomas Klingensmith, Jr., as the passenger. Larry Dorsey told an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent that Christopher Klingensmith had delivered $120,000 in drug proceeds to him on one date.
James Cracraft served as a seller of oxycodone, and as a look-out for the group. Thomas Klingensmith, Jr. assisted his brother in distributing the pills. With 30 mg. oxycodone tablets commonly selling on the street for $25 - 35 per pill, the nearly 50,000 oxycodone distributed in this conspiracy had a street value of between $1.25 million and $1.75 million.
Of the 11 defendants charged in the superseding indictment, nine have now entered guilty pleas, with two others awaiting trial.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for Oct. 15, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. for James Cracraft: Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. for Thomas Klingensmith, Jr.; and Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:30 am for Christopher Klingensmith. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Nescott is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The DEA, the New Castle Police and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Christopher Klingensmith, James Cracraft, and Thomas Klingensmith, Jr.