CRIME

Three found with weapons cache outside NYC wanted to 'rescue' girl, officials say

Raw video: 'Jacked-up SUV' taken to Port Authority impound lot

 

Three people who were arrested when police discovered a weapons cache in a vehicle outside New York City at the Holland Tunnel Tuesday, claim they were on they way to "rescue" a teenage girl involved in drugs, according to officials.

Port Authority Police Department Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko said that Dean Smith, 53, John Cramsey, 50, and Kimberly Arendt, 29, were taken into custody after they were stopped around 7:40 a.m. in Jersey City, N.J.

Cramsey wrote on Smith's Facebook page early Tuesday morning that he was driving to New York to "do an extraction" of a 16-year-old girl from a hotel room in Brooklyn after an issue involving drugs. Smith replied, "I'm there." It was unclear what, if anything, the weapons had to do with their plans.

Cramsey's 20-year-old daughter died from a heroin overdose four months ago Tuesday and he has since attended town hall meetings around the Allentown area to voice his concerns over the drug epidemic, The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, reported.

"This is a plague and we are losing our brightest and most brilliant minds," Cramsey told the newspaper shortly after his daughter was found dead of an overdose with another man inside an Allentown home.

The trio, from Pennsylvania, initially was stopped by Port Authority Police at a toll plaza for a cracked windshield, authorities said. An officer saw the weapons in plain view on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Officials found multiple weapons -- some loaded -- including rifles and handguns in their vehicle, described by a law enforcement source as a "jacked up SUV." Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that ballistic vests were also found in the SUV.

Fedorko said the weapons found in the vehicle included an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and five semi-automatic handguns.

The vehicle, a Dodge truck, also bore the name Higher Ground Tactical, an indoor shooting range and gun dealership in Upper Milford Township, Pa., WNBC-TV reported.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kelly Langmesser, told Reuters that counter-terrorism agents weren't involved and the case didn't have a "terrorism nexus."

"If it's not terrorism, it's criminal," a source told Fox News.

Drugs were also recovered from the vehicle, which has been cleared from the scene but is still being processed for evidence.

The suspects' final destination was unclear. The Holland Tunnel's New York side is located in Lower Manhattan.

Fox News' Rick Leventhal, Matt Dean and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from The New York Post.