News and Press Releases

Richmond man sentenced to life in prison for drug distribution

December 20, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. – Paul Coleman, 34, of Richmond, Va., was sentenced today on two counts of possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base.  Coleman was sentenced to life in prison on both counts.

                Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge James R. Spencer. 

                Coleman was convicted of both counts by a jury on September 24, 2009.  Evidence at trial showed that on December 28, 2007, Coleman was stopped in Chesterfield County for a traffic violation.  During the stop, the police officers noticed the odor of marijuana coming from the interior of Coleman’s vehicle.  Coleman consented to a search of that vehicle.  During the search, officers seized 71 grams of cocaine base from underneath the driver’s seat, along with marijuana and cocaine hydrochloride.  After the drugs were discovered, Coleman fled on foot, but was apprehended after a short foot pursuit.  On January 28, 2009, Coleman was stopped for another traffic violation, in Dinwiddie County.  During that stop, police officers again smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the interior of the vehicle.  After the defendant refused a search, a drug dog was called to the scene.  Subsequently, officers seized 55 grams of cocaine base, as well as marijuana and cocaine hydrochloride from underneath the driver’s seat. 

                This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney George Metcalf prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

                A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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