New Castle News

Police Reports

June 5, 2014

Drug offender’s forfeited property to be sold

NEW CASTLE — More than $150,000 in forfeited property was taken by court order last week by the  Lawrence County District Attorney.

The court order, dated May 29 and signed by Common Pleas Judge Thomas M. Piccione, stated that “pursuant to the Controlled Substances Forfeiture Act” and in accordance with stipulations, all claims or right, title and interest of Curtis D. Chritzman is revoked.

The order directs that the defendant’s property shall be forfeited to the Lawrence County District Attorney’s office.

Chritzman, 40, of Evans City, was sentenced last week to three to six years in a state correctional institution, followed by four years of probation

He had pleaded guilty to manufacture, distribution or possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, operating a corrupt organization and possession of firearms by a person with a felony record.

Chritzman was arrested July 4, 2012, in connection with  a flourishing marijuana growing and distribution operation  in Lawrence and Butler counties.

Chritzman also operated a construction company.

District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa explained that under the Drug and Cosmetics Forfeiture Act, law enforcement is entitled to seize anything purchased through illegal funds.

“We investigated,” he said. “There was no legitimate source of income used to purchase any of the things we seized.”

He added, “This was very nice equipment.”

Lamancusa also noted that law enforcement had not seized Chritzman’s home, which is owned by his mother.

Several of the items seized will be donated to the city of New Castle. They include a zero-turn lawnmower valued at $600, which will go to the city public works department. The city will also receive a work truck and ladder truck.

A golf cart is being donated to the New Castle police for use in parades and downtown festivals.

“The rest, we’ll sell,” he said. Lamancusa said weapons and several vintage cars might bring a higher price than he anticipates and drive up the overall value of the forfeiture.

Property in the inventory includes $5,710 in cash, a Savage HMR rifle with magazines and ammunition, a Ruger 10/22 .22 rifle, a Savage 116 30 rifle with scope, a Winchester 69, a 22 short rifle, a D’Arms De L’etat rifle, Savage 93R17 rifle, Rossi HMR Brake Bar and a .410-gauge Brake Bar shotgun, a New England Firearms H&R pump shotgun, a Mossberg 500C 20-gauge shotgun, a Bowing Ducks Unlimited 50th anniversary 12-gauge shotgun, an iPhone, a 1995 Dodge Ram truck, a John Deere Bobcat and 35D excavator, a Work Site Pro backhoe, a tandem-axle trailer, a Hotsy steam generator, a 2009 Suzuki DR650, a laptop computer, a1970 Plymouth Valiant/Duster, a 1970 Plymouth AAR Barracuda, a Dodge Challenger and miscellaneous car parts.

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