A Pennsylvania man killed his drug courier an hour before she met federal prosecutors. Now, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Recently, United States District Judge Mark Hornak sentenced Price Montgomery, 42, to life in federal prison for the shooting death of Tina Crawford, 34. After a two-week trial, Montgomery was found guilty and convicted by a jury of retaliation against a witness by murder, attempted murder to silence a witness, use of a firearm during a federal crime of violence, conspiracy to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and money laundering.
“We hope that this prosecution brought justice and closure for the Crawford family. This prosecution also served to preserve the integrity of our justice system by prosecuting to the full extent of the law a murder aimed at silencing a witness,” said U.S. Attorney Cindy K. Chung.
On Aug. 22, 2014, Crawford and her mother, Patsy Crawford, had an appointment to meet with the U.S. Attorney’s office to discuss her role and the dynamics of Montgomery’s drug operation, federal prosecutors said. An hour before the meeting, both women had been walking to their car in the garage area of their Hill District home when the defendant and another man, Glenn Thomas, shot them.
Crawford died on the scene after suffering eight gunshot wounds. Meanwhile, Patsy Crawford was severely wounded but survived the ordeal.
According to prosecutors, Crawford had been a drug courier for Montgomery, who trafficked kilograms of heroin from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. The victim had performed eight trips for the defendant before he was arrested two months before Crawford’s demise.
- He Fatally Shot Another Drug Dealer More Than 20 Times. Then, Cops Connected Him To The Death Of A Police Detective.
- He killed a man wanted for questioning in another murder case. Now, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
- He Ordered The Death Of A Couple For $1,200 And 30 Grams Of Marijuana. Now, He Will Remain Behind Bars For The Rest Of His Life.
At the time, federal agents had been monitoring Montgomery’s movement via tapped cellphones and surveillance cameras. On June 8, 2014, authorities arrested the defendant and his co-defendant James Perrin for conspiracy to distribute large quantities of heroin. During the arrest, agents seized a bag of heroin, cash, 16 firearms, a live chicken used for rituals and animal sacrifice, and other proceeds of his drug trafficking, including cars and several lease-to-own homes.
However, Montgomery had gotten a tip from one of his girlfriends, Khrysta Brown, about Crawford’s interview with the U.S. attorney. As a result, the defendant decided to kill her.
During the trial, Montgomery claimed he was innocent of Crawford’s murder, but investigators recovered the defendant’s DNA and the cell phone he left behind after the shooting at the crime scene.
Though Thomas was identified as the second shooter, he was convicted of being an accessory after the fact for getting rid of the getaway car. Hence, Hornak sentenced him to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
Meanwhile, the victim’s mother expressed her sadness for losing her daughter and home since she was forced into protective custody.
"My heart aches every day. It haunts me every day," stated Patsy Crawford in a statement reported Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Hornak sentenced Montgomery to additional 80 years for the other charges, to be served consecutively to the life sentence.
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