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Press Release

Cave Junction Man Sentenced to More than 14 Years Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearms and Narcotics

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore.—A Cave Junction, Oregon man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to more than 14 years in federal prison Thursday for illegally possessing methamphetamine and 12 firearms while on state supervision.

William Thomas Gillespie, 39, was sentenced to 173 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

“This lengthy prison sentence is a just outcome for a man who poses a significant danger to the community. We thank our partners on the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team for their dedication and commitment over many months to bringing Mr. Gillespie to justice,” said Nathan J. Lichvarick, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eugene and Medford Branch Offices.

“With Mr. Gillespie’s lengthy criminal record involving drug distribution, illegal firearms, and flight from supervised release, this significant sentence is well warranted,” said Jonathan Blais, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Seattle Field Division. “ATF will always investigate those who endanger our communities and citizens through their illegal actions.”

According to court documents, on April 6, 2020, Gillespie was arrested in White City, Oregon attempting to deliver approximately 174 grams of methamphetamine. At the time of his arrest, he possessed six baggies of methamphetamine and a digital scale. After Gillespie consented to a search of his residence, investigators located and seized 12 firearms, including an AR-15 and multiple AK-style rifles. Three of the firearms were found to be stolen and one had an obliterated serial number.

On November 5, 2020, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a three-count indictment charging Gillespie with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, illegally possessing a short-barrel rifle, and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

On June 23, 2021, Gillespie was released from custody pending trial, and, on August 1, 2022, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

On January 2023, Gillespie absconded from his supervised release and a warrant was issued for his arrest. On September 13, 2023, Gillespie was located and arrested in Bandon, Oregon.

This case was investigated by the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team (RADE), a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. RADE includes members from Oregon State Police, the Grants Pass Police Department, Josephine County Probation & Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

This case was prosecuted by Judith R. Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Updated April 26, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses