NewsCrime and Courts


Missoula man sentenced to federal prison on drug charges

Russell Smith Courthouse
Posted at 11:46 AM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 13:46:08-04

MISSOULA - A 36-year-old Missoula man was sentenced on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, for possessing methamphetamine and over 3,500 fentanyl pills, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy sentenced Joseph Anthony Schrantz to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Schrantz had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in April 2023.

The government alleged in court documents that on July 13, 2022, Missoula Police Department officers responded to Downtown Pawn for a report of a male who stole a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun. Officers reviewed surveillance footage that showed Joseph Schrantz reaching over the counter, taking the firearm, and leaving the store.

Later that day, officers recognized Schrantz driving a vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Schrantz confirmed he had stolen the gun and provided consent for officers to retrieve it from under the center console of the vehicle.

Schrantz was also in possession of two small cork-topped glass bottles: one containing 82 round blue pills marked “M30”, the other containing a small amount of methamphetamine, according to a news release.

Lab testing reflected the pills were fentanyl and the meth was 100% pure. Law enforcement found another small baggie of meth and more than 100 additional fentanyl pills. In a key-code safe in the rear seat there were two large ziplock bags containing 3,451 fentanyl pills, one large ziplock bag containing 248 grams of 100% pure meth, distribution baggies, and a digital scale with residue.

Additional distribution baggies were found in the center console while a black wallet with $734 in cash was found on the floorboard. The vehicle was registered to Schrantz and another female.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Missoula Police Department, Montana Probation and Parole, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration.