Former drug kingpin gets four months for carrying stolen gun
A former drug kingpin who served less than seven years of his life sentence will soon be out of jail despite getting caught with a stolen gun, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose sentenced Donald Lyles, 38, to four months for violating his parole and gave him credit for the time he spent in jail since Pittsburgh police arrested him Oct. 11.
Lyles' attorney, Emily McNally, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Eberle agreed to the four-month sentence. They both declined comment after the hearing.
Lyles, who posted a $25,000 bond on the state gun charges, agreed he violated his probation. That allowed the sentencing, which will probably result in releasing him from jail this month, and possibly allow him to regain the job he had before his arrest.
Once the top lieutenant in a drug ring that sold more than 60 pounds of heroin and 300 pounds of cocaine in four years, Lyles said the arrest is a minor setback in his rehabilitation. For the past few years he has worked full time and regularly attended church, Lyles said.
“I've most definitely changed for the best,” he said.
Ambrose said she was troubled by the fact that police charged Lyles with carrying a stolen gun and resisting arrest but agreed he had turned his life around.
Spokesmen for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pittsburgh police narcotics unit couldn't be reached for comment.
Authorities in 2002 said the drug ring Lyles helped lead was the largest supplier of cocaine and heroin to Western Pennsylvania. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft came to Pittsburgh to announce the arrests.
Ambrose sentenced Lyles to life in 2003 under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Act, which carries a mandatory life sentence for top people in large drug rings. At the request of prosecutors, she twice reduced his sentence because of his cooperation with government investigations.
The second reduction, in November 2009, sentenced Lyles to time served and five years of probation.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins fall to 0-3 after losing to Canadiens
- Wildcat formation is pulled back out of Steelers’ bag of tricks
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Man killed by train in Homestead
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin dismisses clock run-off near end of Chargers game
- Tomlin on Bell’s late TD: ‘We were going to go for it’
- Pirates coach Sofield interviews for Padres manager
- Pitt TE Holtz quietly taking on leadership role, setting example
- KitchenWise: Master the easy art of cooking dried beans from scratch
- Losing jobs over Ex-Im’s expiration? Don’t believe it
- Federal authorities say they’ve solved botnet scheme that stole millions from Penneco Oil, targeted Sharon City School District