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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

Friday, January 29, 2016

North Pole Man Sentenced To Thirteen Years In Prison For Fairbanks Methamphetamine, Heroin, and Firearms Offenses

Fairbanks, Alaska — U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a North Pole man was sentenced in federal court in Fairbanks for one count of trafficking methamphetamine and heroin, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  

Ray Don Groskreutz, 39, of North Pole, Alaska, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline, to thirteen years in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Hattan, who prosecuted the case, Groskreutz was apprehended on July 27, 2015, after the Alaska State Troopers (AST) conducted a welfare check at the Fairbanks hotel where Groskreutz was staying.  AST confirmed Groskreutz was on court-ordered release in connection with three separate state criminal cases.  When AST encountered him, Groskreutz admitted he had been “shooting up” earlier that day, and agreed to be searched:  Groskreutz had a loaded .380 caliber handgun on his hip, along with nearly $6,000 in cash and a Taser in his front pants pocket.  Further investigation revealed that Groskreutz’s backpack – which AST found in his room – contained over 200 grams of methamphetamine, 71.1 grams of heroin, $11,000 cash, a drug ledger, a digital scale, and numerous small unused plastic baggies, and drug paraphernalia.  Groskreutz’s van, parked at the hotel, contained another 14 firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition, which he has agreed to forfeit and which he admitted were proceeds of and/or facilitated his drug trafficking crime.   

As part of his plea deal with the United States, Groskreutz has agreed to resolve all of his numerous pending state criminal matters.  For instance, as detailed in his plea agreement, Groskreutz has agreed to plead guilty to one count of misconduct involving weapons in the third degree as charged in State of Alaska v. Groskreutz, No. 4FA-12-01406CR (i.e., a crime that arose on June 9, 2011), and to one count of burglary in the second degree as charged in State of Alaska v. Groskreutz, No. 4FA-14-03341CR (i.e., a crime that arose in June 2014).

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Beistline noted that the defendant had been “on a crime spree for the last three years” related to guns and drugs.

“This prosecution represents our continuing efforts, working cooperatively with our State and local partners to focus on our mission to protect public safety by working to reduce the damaging effects of drug trafficking and weapons,” said U.S. Attorney Loeffler. 

“This habitual offender no longer poses a threat to the residents of Fairbanks,” added DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis, who commended the participating agencies’ efforts and the court’s sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Loeffler commended the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Alaska State Troopers Fairbanks Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit for their investigation of this case, as well as the Fairbanks District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for their assistance in this matter.

Drug Trafficking
Updated January 29, 2016