MADISON– Steven Ranta, 42, of Superior has been sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge James Peterson to 96 months in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine as part of a conspiracy.
The prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release.
Ranta pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on February 4, 2021. His co-defendant, Christina Nord, 35, of Superior pleaded guilty and was sentenced on December 29, 2020, for her role in the same conspiracy to three years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
The charges against the two are the result of an investigation conducted by the Superior Police Department in November and December 2019. As a part of the investigation, officers arranged a series of controlled buys for methamphetamine. A confidential informant successfully purchased meth from either Ranta, Nord, or both together on a total of nine occasions.
In a search of Ranta’s apartment on December 31, 2019, investigators located an additional 136 grams of methamphetamine and indicia of drug distribution.
In sentencing Nord and Ranta, Peterson noted the seriousness of their offenses. With respect to Ranta’s sentence, Peterson explained that a lengthy sentence was warranted given the sheer volume of Ranta’s criminal history, which included a prior federal conviction for methamphetamine distribution, crimes of violence, and sexual deviance.
Peterson also expressed that Ranta’s criminal conduct appeared to be related to his lack of self-control, and that it created a real danger to the community. In contrast, in sentencing Nord, the judge imposed a shorter sentence given her minimal criminal history.
Prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor L. Kraus.