Kernersville man who tried to shoot state trooper sentenced to 30 years on federal drug, gun charges

Tyler Lloyd Grantz

Tyler Lloyd Grantz

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A man formerly from Kernersville was sentenced Friday in federal court for drug and firearm offenses, announced the United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina, according to a US Department of Justice news release.

Tyler Lloyd Grantz, 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. He 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 around 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.

He 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, he 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. He 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. 

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