Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jul 2017
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2017 San Antonio Express-News


JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man charged with trying to
drive through the Holland Tunnel with a cache of weapons on his way to
rescue a teenager from a drug den will ask New Jersey's governor for a
pardon after a judge denied his request to enter a pretrial
intervention program.

Attorney James Lisa told a judge Thursday that he will seek a pardon
after the judge denied allowing John Cramsey, of East Greenville, to
enter the program after he earlier rejected a plea.

Cramsey, an anti-drug activist whose daughter died of a drug overdose
last year, and three others were stopped as they approached the
Holland Tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York. Police recovered
weapons including a semi-automatic military-style rifle, a shotgun and
five handguns, along with other tactical gear.

Cramsey's two co-defendants, Dean Smith, of Whitehall, and Kimberly
Arendt, of Lehighton, have struck a deal to avoid a trial.

Smith, who publishes a local magazine, says he came along to film a
video interview with Cramsey. Smith testified at a hearing Thursday
that he tried to convince Cramsey to turn around after hearing him
instruct Arendt on how to load a shotgun. But he said he didn't stop
the car.

The Republican Christie has made fighting the opioid epidemic a top
priority and has also pardoned other out-of-state residents caught up
in New Jersey's tough gun laws. A spokesman said Christie's office
doesn't discuss, deny or confirm whether it has received any
application for clemency or pardon.

New Jersey has more stringent gun laws than Pennsylvania. It doesn't
recognize carry permits from other states, and guns in cars must be
kept locked and unloaded in a trunk or secure container.

Smith was driving Cramsey's neon-painted truck when the group was
stopped. According to police, the vehicle was pulled over because it
had a crack in its windshield and had some objects hanging from a
rearview mirror.

The defendants have contended they were actually stopped because of
the truck's Second Amendment-themed decorations.

Arendt was a former camp counselor of 18-year-old Jenea Patterson, who
reached out after another girl she was with died of a drug overdose.
Patterson later denied she was seeking help. She died in January of a
drug overdose.
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