A man described by law enforcement as being a problem in his community for some time, will serve an effective 20 years in prison for drugs and firearms charges.

Judge Kimberley S. White sentenced 53-year-old Kenneth Johnson Harris, aka “Baldy,” of Alton to 10 years in prison for possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, third or subsequent offense and five-year prison terms for possession of a firearm and ammunition while possessing cocaine and possession of a firearm as a violent convicted felon.

White sentenced Harris to a 10-year suspended term for possession of hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and to a five-year suspended term for possession of ammunition as a convicted felon.

White also sentenced Harris to a 12-month suspended jail term for misdemeanor possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, and she sentenced him to a 30-day suspended jail term for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

White ordered the suspended portions of Harris’ sentence be conditioned on his good behavior for 40 years, ordered him to be placed on probation for two years and ordered his operator’s license to be suspended for 24 months.

White additionally ordered Harris to pay court costs in full within 25 years and ordered the ammunition and firearm seized in the case to be held for 60 days before their destruction.

Harris was convicted in January of seven charges stemming from to a police raid in November 2017, following a bench trial in Halifax County Circuit Court.

Harris pleaded not guilty to each charge prior to the bench trial.

The charges against Harris resulted from a search warrant executed by members of the Halifax/South Boston Regional Narcotics and Gang Task Force following an investigation into ongoing drug activity occurring at Harris’ residence located at 8022 Huell Matthews Highway in Alton.

Participating in the search that culminated in Harris’ arrest were members of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, South Boston Police Department, Virginia State Police and Halifax Regional Narcotic and Gang Task Force.

On Nov. 2, 2017, task force members executed a search warrant at Harris’ residence, where they found multiple firearms, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and other controlled substances, according to Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Quackenbush Martin.

Harris had previously been convicted of 10 felony charges including a charge for felonious wounding; charges for multiple distribution of cocaine and possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance; a charge for being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition as well as a charge for a probation violation.

Harris had previously served both a three-year active sentence and a six-year active term in the past, and he still was on good behavior through Halifax County Circuit Court at the time of the new offenses, according to Martin.

Harris took the stand in his own defense during the bench trial and didn’t admit to whom the drugs and paraphernalia found during the raid belonged.

Regional Drug Prosecutor David Pittman prosecuted the case on behalf of the commonwealth.

“This case is an example of a repeat drug dealer (who stated that he did not use drugs himself), profiting off of the addiction of others in our community,” said Pittman. “Our community is safer as a result of the efforts of the task force that have put a violent drug dealer with a criminal history spanning nearly 30 years behind bars.”   

Martin commended the hard work and successful efforts of Pittman and the task force in the case.

“They are a good team,” Martin added. “The assistance of the community is key to a successful prosecution of these cases. If you have any concerns about drug activity, or have information that would help keep drug dealers off our streets, please contact members of the task force at 434-517-0034. You can remain anonymous.”

Other court cases

w Tre-Shon Malik Bailey, 23, of South Boston was convicted Thursday of a probation violation.

White revoked one year and 10 months of Bailey’s previously suspended jail term, and she re-suspended all but 30 days active jail time.

w John Ray Childrey, 34, of South Boston had a show cause charge against him for a violation of his conditions of good behavior dismissed on Thursday.