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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 21, 2020

Kernersville Man Who Tried to Shoot a State Trooper Sentenced to 30 Years on Federal Drug and Gun Charges

Fired .40 and AK style pistols at NCSHP during high speed chase, fled with assault rifle and drugs, arrested three miles from crash site after a manhunt

GREENSBORO, N.C. - A man formerly from Kernersville was sentenced today in federal court for drug and firearm offenses, announced United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.

TYLER LLOYD GRANTZ, age 21, was charged with possession of a stolen firearm, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, and carry/use, by discharging, firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. He was convicted of all charges on February 12, 2020, after a three day jury trial.

GRANTZ was sentenced by United States District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr., in Greensboro. GRANTZ was sentenced to 240 months in prison as to Counts One through Three, to run concurrently with one another, and 120 months as to Count Four, to run consecutively thereto, for an aggregate sentence of 360 months. He was sentenced to 3 years of supervised release as to Counts One through Three and five years of supervised release as to Count Four.

According to evidence presented at the trial, at approximately 2:09 am on March 5, 2019, GRANTZ was speeding down Interstate 40 eastbound at 100 mph in a stolen GMC Acadia when a trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol attempted to pull him over. GRANTZ, while driving, fired multiple rounds from a stolen Glock .40 caliber handgun at the trooper’s car. GRANTZ then pulled over at the New Hope Church Road exit in Orange County and crashed his car along the wood line. As the trooper approached GRANTZ’s car, GRANTZ fired multiple rounds at him with a Draco Arms AK-style 7.62x39mm pistol grip assault rifle and then ran into the woods. Law enforcement searched the GMC Acadia and found the stolen Glock .40 caliber handgun, a hard hat bearing GRANTZ’s name, and a cell phone bearing his DNA and containing pictures of him, as well as text messages discussing drug sales. Law enforcement also found multiple .40 caliber shell casings along Interstate 40 and multiple 7.62x39mm shell casings at the crash site.

After a multiple hour manhunt, law enforcement arrested GRANTZ a few miles from the crash site. GRANTZ had the Draco Arms assault rifle and distribution quantities of cocaine hydrochloride and oxycodone with him, as well as multiple other controlled substances, a large amount of cash, drug packaging materials, and digital scales. A forensic scientist confirmed that recovered shell casings matched the two firearms.

“Let the 30 year sentence in this case put violent drug dealers on notice. If you are using guns to help your drug business and if you shoot at a cop, you will suffer serious federal consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Matt Martin. “I commend the FBI, Orange County Sheriff, NC State Highway Patrol, and Chapel Hill Police Department for excellent work in this case.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Chapel Hill Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney JoAnna G. McFadden prosecuted the case.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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Updated September 21, 2020