New Castle News

District Judges

June 19, 2013

Three more plead guilty in oxycodone ring

NEW CASTLE — Three more New Castle residents pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating the federal drug laws.

Christopher Klingensmith, 38, of Vine Street, James Cracraft, 39, of Randolph Street and Thomas Klingensmith Jr., 40, of Bellair Drive, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton made the announcement Tuesday.

In connection with the plea, the court was told that between September 2008 and June 2011, a drug ring operated in the New Castle area, selling to users on the street nearly 50,000 highly addictive narcotic pills containing oxycodone.

Christopher Klingensmith was the leader of the ring, which was supplied oxycodone by co-defendant Larry Dorsey from Florida. Dorsey transported 5,000 to 10,000 oxycodone on each of six trips he had 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. Dorsey told an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent that Christopher Klingensmith had delivered $120,000 in drug proceeds to him on one date.

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 to $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 indictment, nine have now entered guilty pleas, with two others awaiting trial.

Those nine include three who entered guilty pleas last month. Thomas Klingensmith Sr., 58, of 607 Spruce St., Bobbi Jo Klingensmith, 35, of 826 Croton Ave., and Shannon Viggiano, 34, of 414 Pine St., pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy.

Schwab scheduled sentencing for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 15 for Cracraft, 9:30 a.m. Oct. 21 for Thomas Klingensmith Jr. and 10:30 a.m. Oct. 21 for Christopher Klingensmith. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $1 million or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Nescott is prosecuting this case.

The DEA, the New Castle Police and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Christopher and Thomas Klingensmith Jr. and Cracraft.

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