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Press Release

Fairbanks Man Sentenced To 9 Years In Federal Prison For Possession Of Stolen Firearm And Methamphetamine Trafficking

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

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced Brian James Tepner, 48, of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been sentenced to 108 months in federal prison followed by 8 years of supervised release on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and for being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm.

At 3:30 a.m. on March 22, 2019, Tepner was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle parked at a Sourdough Fuel station in Fairbanks. Alaska State Troopers saw an open container of alcohol, hypodermic needles, and a spoon with burnt heroin residue in plain view during the contact. Troopers obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and seized 191 grams of methamphetamine, three grams of heroin, and a stolen S&W .22 caliber pistol. Troopers also located drug dealing paraphernalia, including ledgers, two scales, and multiple plastic baggies and cell phones. Tepner was apprehended, but left Alaska shortly after being released.

Tepner was indicted by a Grand Jury in the District of Alaska on May 22, 2019. On June 25, 2019, he was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona and transported back to Alaska.

In imposing the 108-month sentence, the Court noted Tepner’s long criminal record and recent threats he made towards his wife on recorded jail calls as justifying the lengthy sentence.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Alaska State Troopers (AST), and the Fairbanks Area Narcotics Team conducted the investigation leading to the sentence in this case. The Fairbanks Area Narcotics Team is part of Alaska’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. Established in 2018, the Alaska HIDTA Program enhances and coordinates efforts among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, providing equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of Alaska. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please visit

Updated December 17, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-080