DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 24, 2014
A. Lee Bentley, III
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

St. Petersburg Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore today sentenced Martin E. Lyons (46, St. Petersburg) to 15 years in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition. Lyons pleaded guilty on December 12, 2013.

According to court documents, Lyons has multiple prior felony convictions for armed robbery and burglary. In July 2013, he sold Hydrocodone and crack cocaine to an undercover St. Petersburg Police Department detective, on multiple occasions. After advising the undercover detective that he could procure additional narcotics and firearms, Lyons sold him a loaded handgun and prescription pills. As a previously convicted felon, Lyons was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.

It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy.  United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Julie Leon, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life in communities where law enforcement efforts are focused.


Tampa Field Division