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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fort Walton Man Sentenced to Twenty Years in Federal Prison for Drug and Firearm Offenses

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Gregory S. Rothwell Jr., 31, of Fort Walton Beach, was sentenced to federal prison today after having been found guilty on April 3 of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on July 13, 2017, at an apartment complex in Fort Walton Beach.  The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office found and seized a loaded firearm, marijuana, a large amount of cash in Rothwell’s vehicle, as well as drug paraphernalia and additional cash in Rothwell’s storage unit.  The firearm was purchased originally by Rothwell’s girlfriend, Shelley Wimes.  Following a two-day jury trial in April 2018, Rothwell was found guilty as charged.  Rothwell was sentenced to 240 months in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.  In addition, the firearm and almost $70,000 in cash that was seized was forfeited to the government.  Wimes is awaiting sentencing on August 9 at 2:00 p.m. after having pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury for lying to the grand jury and to the court about her having driven Rothwell’s car on the evening of July 13, 2017.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.  Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Forbes prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
For more information, contact: Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
Updated July 13, 2018