The owner of a Pennsylvania gun range who lost his daughter to a heroin overdose, was arrested Tuesday along with two others and an arsenal of weapons while on their way to “rescue” a teenage girl in New York City.
Port Authority police stopped the truck before it entered the Holland Tunnel just before 8 a.m. Tuesday when they noticed a cracked windshield, according to multiple media reports.
Pictures of the brightly coloured Dodge truck show it decked out with emergency lights, crosshairs painted on each door, writings from the U.S. Constitution, and the name of a Pennsylvania gun range “Higher Ground Tactical.”
A cooler also appears to have been fastened to the front of the vehicle.
Inside, police discovered: five pistols, an AR-15-style assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, seven knives and body armour, according to a news release from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The photo from the Port Authority also showed a large amount of ammunition, a military-grade helmet, night-vision goggles and a box with the phrase “Shoot Your Local Heroin Dealer.”
Police arrested John Cramsey, 50, and Dean Smith, 53, both of Zionsville, Pennsylvania, and Kimberly Arendt, 29, of Lehighton, Pennsylvania. All three face weapons charges and are set to appear in a New Jersey courtroom Wednesday.
While the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism chief tweeted that his department was “monitoring the events unfolding,” it appears the trio’s intention was not terror-related but an “extraction” mission.
Cramsey posted on Facebook Tuesday morning that he was driving to New York to “do an extraction” of a 16-year-old girl in Brooklyn after an issue involving heroin.
“One of those friends she went up there with will not be returning. This young lady from Wilkes Barre is scared and wants to come home,” he wrote.
WATCH: Heroin usage reaching epidemic proportions in suburban US
The mother of Kimberly Arnedt, who was arrested alongside Cramsey, told the Washington Post her daughter had received a text message from a young woman who said she was on heroin and in trouble in New York City.
“They were trying to help,” Michele Plocinik told the Post. “I know for a fact they weren’t going to shoot anybody.”
Cramsey lost his 20-year-old daughter to a heroin and fentanyl overdose four months ago, according to his Facebook post.
Since then, he has been an outspoken critic of drug use in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“This is a plague and we are losing our brightest and most brilliant minds,” Cramsey told The Morning Call newspaper shortly after his daughter, Alexandria ‘Lexii’ Cramsey, was found dead of an overdose with her boyfriend inside a Pennsylvania home on Feb. 21.
Cramsey also co-founded the group “Enough is Enough” to combat heroin-use in Pennsylvania.
Lyn Baker, also a co-founder of the group, told the Daily Beast that Cramsey had started to act like a vigilante before his arrest.
“About a week ago, he started posting very cryptic posts,” she said. “He felt like he was superman, like he could go and save these people.”
The Port Authority said an investigation is currently on-going and it’s believed there is no link to terrorism.
*With files from the Associated Press