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Drug suspect kidnaps informant, police say

Jacob Tierney
| Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
Brian Allen Craggette
Westmoreland County Prison
Brian Allen Craggette

A suspected drug dealer allegedly kidnapped a confidential informant Thursday and led Greensburg police on a high-speed chase after a foiled undercover deal.

The informant told police that a dealer nicknamed “Pumpkin” was selling cocaine in Greensburg, according to a police report. Officers identified the alleged dealer as Brian Allen Craggette, 37, of Uniontown.

Police had the informant contact Craggette to buy cocaine, and the two agreed to meet outside CoGo's convenience store on East Pittsburgh Street.

Police prepared to secretly monitor the deal, but Craggette called the informant at the last minute to change locations. The informant walked a block away to meet Craggette in a parking lot outside Mr. Smitty's Place.

There, Craggette pulled the informant into a Chevy Malibu and drove off, accusing the unidentified person of trying to set him up, police said.

Officers pursued Craggette, who they said slowed down several times and pulled into the Lynch Field parking lot before speeding off down New Alexandria Road.

The Malibu traveled at more than 100 mph, swerving in and out of oncoming traffic lanes, police said.

The passenger-side door opened at one point but quickly closed, when the informant tried to jump from the car, the report stated.

After 6 miles, Craggette crashed into an embankment at the corner of New Alexandria and Cemetery roads in Unity, police said.

No one was injured.

Craggette fled on foot but was quickly caught. Officers searched him and found $483 but no drugs, the report stated.

The informant told police Craggette swallowed three bags of powdered cocaine and threw two more bags of drugs out the window during the chase.

Police took Craggette to Excela Westmoreland Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Officers reviewed footage from dashboard cameras that recorded the chase and spotted a small object flying out of Craggette's window. They returned to the scene and found a bag of suspected crack cocaine and a bag of suspected marijuana, the report stated.

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

District Judge Charles Christner ordered Craggette held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $200,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6.

Courts in Fayette and Westmoreland counties previously convicted Craggette on drug charges in 10 cases dating back to 2000, online records show.

In 2012, police arrested Craggette after a standoff in Youngwood in which he threatened to kill his then-girlfriend with a handgun.

He pleaded guilty in that case to terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment. A judge sentenced him to two years' probation.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646 or jtierney@tribweb.com.

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