Three plead guilty in Oxycodone ring

Staff report


Three New Castle, Pa., men pleaded guilty in federal court to a conspiracy charge in a major Oxycodone distribution ring, the U.S. Attorney announced.

Christopher Klingensmith, 38, of Vine Street; his brother, Thomas Klingensmith Jr., 40, of Bellair Drive; and James Cracraft, 39, of Randolph Street, entered their pleas Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab, who will sentence them in October.

Christopher Klingensmith was the leader of the ring, which received its Oxycodone supplies from Florida and sold the highly addictive narcotic pills to New Castle area street drug users between September 2008 and June 2011, the U.S. Attorney said.

Thomas Klingensmith helped his brother distribute the pills, and Cracraft sold the pills and served as a lookout for the group, federal prosecutors said.

With 30mg Oxycodone tablets typically selling for $25 to $35 each on the street, the nearly 50,000 pills distributed by the ring had a street value between $1.25 million and $1.75 million, the U.S. Attorney said.

More than $158,000 was seized from a car stopped in North Carolina in September 2010 in this investigation, which was conducted by New Castle and Pennsylvania State Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison and could be fined up to $1 million, the U.S. Attorney said.

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