Anguished over his daughter’s death, John Cramsey became a crusader against the addiction crisis in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, starting a group for concerned parents and recovering addicts and going on self-described missions to save young people.
“I have yet to grieve like I should as a normal person. … Right now I’m on a mission, I can’t stop,” Cramsey said at an Allentown gathering in March. “I’m the inoculation to this disease. I’m going to make a difference. Enough is enough.”
Cramsey posted on social media early Tuesday that he was heading to Brooklyn to “rescue” a 16-year-old girl. As his neon-painted pickup emblazoned with logos from the gun range he operates prepared to enter the Holland Tunnel, a police officer noticed a crack on the windshield and stopped it. Police uncovered a cache of weapons including semi-automatic military-style rifle, a shotgun and five handguns.
Cramsey and the two other Pennsylvania residents in the truck — Dean Smith, 53, of Whitehall, and Kimberly Arendt, 29, of Lehighton — pleaded not guilty to multiple weapons charges.
Attorneys for the three said the search was illegal and they will seek to have the evidence suppressed.
“The police officers said they stopped them because they saw a crack in the windshield, but clearly that’s not what happened,” James Lisa, Cramsey’s attorney, said after Wednesday’s arraignment. “They saw all the decals and the painting basically espousing their Second Amendment rights and that’s why they stopped them.”
Hudson County prosecutor Tom Zuppa took issue with the defense lawyers’ characterization of the case as “just another gun possession case” being blown out of proportion due to the publicity it has generated.
“Despite counsel’s attempt to minimize these charges, this is not just an ordinary gun case,” he said. “This conduct had the potential to bring danger to the destination of these defendants.”
The arrest has friends and fellow members of Cramsey’s “Enough is Enough” group in the Allentown area reeling. They are holding out hope Cramsey can beat the charges and return to the fight he started after his 20-year-old daughter died in February.
Lyn Baker, who started the group with Cramsey, said the group has helped dozens of people.
“Particularly when it comes to rescuing females, to him it’s like rescuing his daughter,” Baker said. “He’s just adamant that I have to make every attempt to get this person help.”