DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 26, 2018
Andrew E. Lelling
, United States Attorney
Contact: Christina DiIorio-Sterling

Worcester Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl, Cocaine and Firearm Charges

BOSTON – A Worcester man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Worcester to drug and firearm charges.


Cleon Riley, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, one count of distributing cocaine, and one count of possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Feb. 26, 2019. Riley has been detained since his arrest in May 2018.


On multiple occasions in 2018, Riley sold cocaine to a confidential source in Worcester. On one occasion in February 2018, Riley sold powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and a .9mm Beretta handgun, which had previously been reported as stolen, to the same source.


Riley was arrested by local police in May 2018. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of seven bags of fentanyl and 20 bags of cocaine. Law enforcement also located additional quantities of fentanyl and cocaine in a car used by Riley, as well as a large quantity of fentanyl, digital scales, cutting agents, and packaging materials in an apartment that Riley used.


The drug charges carry sentences of no greater than 30 years in prison, at least six years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $2 million fine. The firearm charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Riley will face enhanced penalties if he is found to be in violation of the Armed Career Criminal Act. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Lawrence J. Panetta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Worcester Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.



Boston Field Division