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Westmoreland

Informant testifies she set up Greensburg drug sting, then got kidnapped

Rich Cholodofsky
| Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, 5:51 p.m.
Brian Allen Craggette
Westmoreland County Prison
Brian Allen Craggette

Jenny Miller set out to sell her body for sex when she met with a prospective client in the parking lot of a Greensburg business last year.

Five hours later, she was speeding down a country road against her will in the passenger seat of a car driven by a man she tried to help police arrest for selling drugs.

Miller detailed her odyssey Wednesday during the second day of the kidnapping trial of a Uniontown man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase through Greensburg.

The prosecution contends Brian Allen Craggette, 38, took Miller captive as he aborted a drug deal set up by police after Miller, serving as an informant, identified him as someone who would sell her cocaine.

Miller testified she was arrested on the morning of Sept. 29 as part of a prostitution sting, then agreed to help police arrest a man who she said sold drugs.

"I offered to help the police," Miller said, explaining to jurors that she was never charged with the prostitution offense.

Miller testified that as part of the plan she contacted Craggette and set up a buy that police in Greensburg would witness. Miller said she ignored police warnings and walked away from an agreed-upon location to meet Craggette and eventually approached his car, which was parked several blocks away.

Miller said she sat in the passenger seat at Craggette's request and he drove off, at first slowly. He accelerated as they passed Lynch Field and continued along Route 119 toward Crabtree as police followed.

"He said there were cops and that I set him up. He started speeding and (was) erratic," Miller testified. "He said he's not going to jail, and he said he was probably going to crash. He wasn't stopping."

Miller testified that at one point during the chase she opened the car door and considered jumping out. But she stayed in the vehicle until it crashed into an embankment 5 miles down the road, near a Crabtree church.

During the chase, Craggette swallowed some cocaine and threw other plastic bags of drugs out of the car window, Miller said.

As Greensburg police officer Elliott Ferjes narrated video recorded from his cruiser's dash camera, he told jurors the chase reached speeds of 108 mph and that Craggette ran from his car after crashing.

Westmoreland County Detective Tony Marcocci testified Craggette claimed he had no drugs when he was arrested.

Police searched a section of the road where on the video it appeared that Craggette threw items from the vehicle during the pursuit. Marcocci said two bags were found, one with cocaine and another with marijuana.

Craggette is charged with felony kidnapping, fleeing police and possession of a controlled substance as well as misdemeanor counts and traffic violations.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday before Common Pleas Court Judge Chris Scherer.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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