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Press Release

Anchorage man sentenced to 11 years for drug, firearm crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Anchorage man was sentenced yesterday to 11 years in prison and four years’ supervised release for possessing firearms as a felon and possessing drugs with an intent to distribute them.

According to court documents, on Jan. 28, 2021, law enforcement found Joseph Franks, 42, asleep in a running tow truck along a road in Big Lake. Franks had an active warrant for his arrest and was asked to step out of the vehicle. Upon his arrest, law enforcement found a loaded pistol magazine on his person. They obtained a search warrant for the tow truck and found a backpack containing two stolen pistols, six pistol magazines and over 300 grams of marijuana, among other items, and a safe containing over 60 grams of heroin and paraphernalia commonly used for drug distribution.

Less than a week later, law enforcement attempted to stop a vehicle in Wasilla, but the vehicle fled, leading to a high-speed chase for several miles. Spike stripes were deployed, causing the vehicle to crash, but the driver, later determined to be Franks, broke the driver’s side window and fled from the vehicle on foot. Franks was apprehended by a K9 and law enforcement found $1,770 in cash and a small container with cocaine on his person, and $3,550 in cash, over 61 grams of marijuana, over 35 grams of meth, over 85 grams of heroin, and small amounts of psilocybin and cocaine inside a locked duffle back in the vehicle’s trunk.

“Mr. Franks repeatedly disregarded the law and endangered the community with his criminal conduct,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to pursue justice against defendants who choose to commit criminal acts, especially activity that puts our communities at risk like firearm and drug trafficking offenses.”

“The defendant continued to plague our community with serious crimes involving drugs, stolen firearms, and reckless flight from law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Day of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “This sentence, stemming from a joint investigation with the Alaska State Troopers, exemplifies our shared commitment in keeping our communities safe.”

“The sentence handed down in this prosecution is a significant victory in the Alaska State Trooper’s fight against drug trafficking occurring across the State of Alaska,” said Captain Cornelius Sims, Captain of the Alaska State Trooper’s Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit. “The Alaska State Troopers will continue to work tirelessly with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to interrupt drug trafficking in Alaska and hold those that peddle these dangerous drugs accountable for their actions.”

The FBI Anchorage Field Office and Alaska State Troopers investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Ivers and Alana Weber prosecuted the case.



Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

Updated May 23, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-40