Man arrested at Holland Tunnel with weapons rejects plea

AP News
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Posted: Apr 10, 2017 1:22 PM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man arrested last year with a cache of weapons at the Holland Tunnel while on a trip he said was to rescue a teen from a drug den has rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors in New Jersey.

James Lisa, the lawyer for John Cramsey, said Monday that the deal called for his client to receive a five-year prison sentence. Cramsey would have had to serve at least 3 ½ years before he became eligible for parole and three years of probation after he was freed.

The 51-year-old Zionsville man and two other Pennsylvania residents face weapons charges after their arrest last June at the tunnel, which connects New Jersey and New York City.

Cramsey declined comment after a court hearing on Monday. He has tried to get into a pretrial intervention program that would allow him to avoid jail time. A judge has rejected it, but Lisa has said he plans to appeal to a higher court.

Cramsey, Dean Smith and Kimberly Arendt have pleaded not guilty to weapons possession charges. They were stopped outside the Holland Tunnel on June 21 and said they were seeking to help a teen girl who had sent a message to Arendt, her former camp counselor, after a friend died of an overdose in a hotel room.

They were arrested in Cramsey's neon-painted pickup truck emblazoned with logos from the gun range he operates. Police said the truck was carrying weapons including a semi-automatic military-style rifle, a shotgun and five handguns, along with other tactical gear.

A police officer stopped the vehicle because it had a crack on the windshield, according to a criminal complaint.

The defendants say they believe the windshield problem was a pretense and that they were actually stopped because of the truck's Second Amendment-themed decorations