A former Dawsonville city councilman was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for selling prescription morphine tablets in his car during last October’s Moonshine Festival.
Timothy Roland Wimpey, 33, was convicted by a jury in early March on a felony charge of violating Georgia’s controlled substance act. Wimpey sold 57 morphine pills to a confidential informant working with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.
Wimpey served as a councilman from 2002-05 and was campaigning for another term on the council when he was arrested. Prosecutors said Wimpey used a physical disability to get the drugs legally with a doctor’s prescription. Wimpey suffers from cerebral palsy, according to Dawson County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Wooten.
Wimpey told Superior Court Judge C. Andrew Fuller that he took "full responsibility" for his actions, yet continued to claim that the person he sold the morphine to threatened to burn his house down if he didn’t provide him with the drugs.
"He threatened bodily harm to me and my 4-year-old daughter," Wimpey said.
The ex-councilman admitted his actions brought harm to his family.
By peddling the pills, "not only did I hurt myself, but I hurt my daughter as well," Wimpey tearfully told the judge. "I have also damaged the ties in my community."
Fuller said he didn’t buy the defendant’s story of being threatened into selling drugs.
"The court does not think that occurred," Fuller said. "The court finds you were not being candid under oath."
Fuller sentenced Wimpey to a total of 10 years, with three years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation. Wimpey must also spend up to 12 months on house arrest following his release from prison and pay a fine of $3,000.
Several friends of Wimpey testified on his behalf prior to sentencing. Wimpey’s mother told the judge that the prison term would be hardest on her young granddaughter.
"She is having a hard time right now and this is going to make it worse," Nancy Walls said.
Prosecutor John Wilbanks said Wimpey fleeced the social security system and ultimately taxpayers by getting the pills for free through his disability, then turning around and selling them on the street.
Wilbanks noted that a co-defendant in the case, Guy Lee Kuhnhausen, was found in a car with Wimpey in a drug-induced stupor after having just injected a shot of morphine into his arm. Kuhnhausen, who in February pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a negotiated plea agreement, melted the pills down and shot up in front of Wimpey, Wilbanks said.
"He continues to take no acceptance of responsibility," Wilbanks said.
Friends of Wimpey said his arrest caught them off-guard.
"I was absolutely shocked," friend Arlene McClure said.
They urged the judge to consider Wimpey’s public service and accomplishments.
Said Fuller, "The court understands you have done many good acts, but those good acts are easily overcome by one bad act."