Skip to main content
Press Release

12-Time Felon Pleads Guilty to Cocaine and Firearms Crimes

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A man who has been convicted of a dozen prior felonies pleaded guilty today to cocaine and firearms offenses in Newport News.

According to court documents, Clarence L. Lyons, 44, of Newport News, distributed cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin during February 2017. As law enforcement investigated Lyons, they received information that he was usually in possession of a firearm when engaged in narcotics distribution.  On Feb. 24, 2017, law enforcement conducted surveillance of Lyons’s hotel room in Newport News, and arrested Lyons as he came out of the hotel room. At the time of his arrest, he was carrying a loaded firearm, marijuana, cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin. Law enforcement searched his hotel room, where they located a syringe and a marijuana smoking device.

Lyons pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  He faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of life for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking, consecutive to a maximum penalty of 20 years for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Lyons is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 20, 2018. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Michael C. Grinstead, Acting Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan M. Cowles is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-87.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated November 6, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses