A Kernersville man was convicted Wednesday on gun and drug charges in connection with a chase during which shots were fired at a state trooper last year, authorities said.
After a three-day trial in Greensboro, a federal jury found Tyler Lloyd Grantz, 20, guilty of knowingly possessing of a stolen firearm and possession with intent to distribute a mixture containing cocaine hydrochloride, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Grantz also was convicted of possession with intent to distribute a mixture containing oxycodone and with carrying and using a gun during a drug-trafficking crime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Judge William L. Osteen Jr. of U.S. District Court is scheduled to sentence Grantz on May 11. Grantz faces maximum sentences from 30 years to life in federal prison.
Grantz was arrested on March 5, 2019 after shots were fired at a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper’s vehicle during a chase in Orange County.
Around 2 a.m., a trooper tried to stop a 2008 GMC SUV, which was stolen from Greensboro, for speeding on Interstate 40 in Orange County, the highway patrol said at the time.
During the pursuit, Grantz, the SUV’s driver, allegedly fired several shots from a stolen Glock .40-caliber handgun at the trooper’s vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The pursuit ended at I-40 and New Hope Church Road after the vehicle went off the highway and down an embankment. Following the crash, Grantz ran from the scene, according to authorities.
Troopers and local police officers arrested Grantz about nine hours later in a wooded area near Blackwood Mountain Road.
During the manhunt for Grantz, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office stationed extra officers at four nearby schools as a precautionary measure.
In reviewing Grantz’s social media accounts, officers saw an image of a person who appears to be Grantz holding a handgun similar the stolen Glock recovered from the car, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The image was posted shortly after the gun was reported stolen.
A search of Grantz’s cellphone, which was left in his vehicle, revealed several text messages related to the sale of controlled substances and the possession of firearms, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.