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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 1, 2023

Tampa Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge William F. Jung has sentenced Dempsey Gilmore (32, Tampa) to 30 years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The court also ordered Gilmore to forfeit an HS Produkt (Springfield Armory) model XDM-45 .45 caliber pistol and ammunition, which were used in the commission of the offenses. A federal jury had found Gilmore guilty on March 9, 2023.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on February 9, 2022, an officer from the Tampa Police Department (TPD) observed a red Dodge Charger fail to stop for a stop sign and attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled at speeds 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 (pictured below). They also found a box with bags of marijuana and a digital scale nearby.

A bag containing multiple items.

A black bag next to multiple small plastic bags.

A firearm.

After obtaining a search warrant for the house where the suspects had entered, officers ordered the occupants to exit the home. Several individuals immediately complied, but Gilmore and another man initially remained in the house before 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 wad 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 was 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.

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