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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

November 4, 2011

Robert E. O’Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels
(813) 274-6388

Jacksonville Man Sentenced on Gun Charges

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. sentenced Rodwick Dowston (29, Jacksonville) to five years in federal prison yesterday for theft of firearms from a licenced firearms dealer and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

According to court documents, Dowston broke into Shooters of Jacksonville, Inc., a firearms retailer, and stole 17 firearms. According to state court records, Dowston broke into Shooters in the early morning hours of June 22, 2008, and led officers on a high speed chase before wrecking his car. Dowston was found hiding in a dumpster. All 17 firearms were recovered.

The Department of Justice authorized the successive prosecution of Dowston, even though he had been acquitted in state court.

This case was investigated jointly by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.

This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program – a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy led by ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Tampa Field Division, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.