New Castle News


January 10, 2014

Drug kingpin gets prison sentence

NEW CASTLE — Two New Castle residents who were part of a drug ring were sentenced in federal court Friday.

Christopher Klingensmith was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison and James Cracraft was sentenced to 37 months, to be followed by three years supervised release, on their convictions of violating the narcotics laws, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced Friday.

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentences on Klingensmith, 39, of Vine Street, and Cracraft, 39, of Randolph Street.

According to information presented to the court, between September 2008 and June 2011, a drug ring operated in the New Castle area, selling narcotic pills containing oxycodone.

Larry Dorsey, a former New Castle resident who was living in Florida during the conspiracy, was identified by prosecutors as the supplier for Klingensmith and Cracraft and others charged in this indictment.

Klingensmith was the leader of the drug organization, prosecutors said, and Cracraft was a distributor. Eleven people were charged in the drug conspiracy. All have pleaded guilty. They were indicted in July 2011.

Klingensmith has had multiple felony convictions in Lawrence County, several for drugs. Because of his criminal background, he faced a maximum jail term of 30 years.

He was once a co-owner of DeRosa’s Italian Bakery on the city’s East Side.

Four of the co-conspirators were relatives of Klingensmith, including his father, a brother and a sister.

Nearly 50,000 oxycodone pills were sold during the conspiracy, authorities said. The evidence showed that the oxycodone purchased for $9 a pill in Florida was being resold in New Castle for up to $25 a pill.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Nescott prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Hickton commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Castle Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution.

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