For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
, United States Attorney
Richard W. Moore
Mobile County Businessman Sentenced to One Year Probation and Ordered to Pay Restitution After Felony Conviction for Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes
Nashville Field Division
United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Reginald Lyons, a 43 year old resident of Mobile, Alabama was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,008.96.
On December 12, 2018, Lyons entered a guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement and admitted in open court that in 2018, a cooperating citizen (CI) identified Lyons as an individual he illegally sold cigarettes to in the past, which allowed Lyons to knowingly evade the taxes due on the cigarettes that was required by The State of Alabama Dept. of Revenue. The ATF set up an undercover operation designed to confirm this conduct and to show that it continues. The ATF agents used the CI to act in an undercover capacity along with an undercover law enforcement officer to sell quantities of contraband cigarettes on numerous occasions to Lyons that did not have a visible paid cigarette tax stamp affixed.
From February 16, 2018 through March 9, 2018, the CI sold approximately 600 packs of untaxed Newport and Kool cigarettes to Lyons for various amounts of money on three different occasions while Lyons was at Mitchell Brothers, his place of business located at 1300 Arlington Street, Mobile, Alabama. The amount of cigarettes sold to Lyons exceeded 10,000. The tax loss to the State of Alabama is $405.00. The tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service is $603.96.
Officers of the Mobile, Alabama Police Department and special agents of the ATF investigated the case and brought it to the U. S. Attorney's Office for prosecution. The prosecutor assigned to the case is Assistant United States Attorney, Gina S. Vann.