Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Federal Jury Convicts Tampa Armed Felon on Drug Trafficking Charges

Tampa, FL –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Dempsey Gilmore (32, Tampa) guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 24, 2023. Gilmore had been charged in a superseding indictment on January 11, 2023.

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, on February 9, 2022, a Tampa Police Department (TPD) officer observed a red Dodge Charger fail to stop for a stop sign and attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled at speeds of over 100 miles per hour. A TPD Air Support Unit tracked and recorded the vehicle as it fled from the police, ultimately stopping near a residence, where the driver and passenger got out, scaled a fence, and ran into a house. During the flight, the air unit recorded the vehicle temporarily stopping and its occupants throwing items from the car. TPD Officers arrived at that location and, along the side of the road, found a bag containing almost 200 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine, a zip-top bag labeled “Dempsey,” and a fully loaded firearm. They also found a box with bags of marijuana and a digital scale nearby.

After obtaining a search warrant for the house which the suspects had entered, officers ordered the occupants to exit the house. Several individuals immediately complied, but Gilmore and another man initially remained inside the house, ultimately coming out. Officers found a security video from the house showing Gilmore and the other man running into the residence and located more marijuana inside the Dodge Charger that had been abandoned near the residence. A fingerprint recovered from the vehicle matched that of Gilmore.

Gilmore was previously convicted of multiple felonies, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and escape. Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha Beckman.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


An official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?