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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sacramento Drug Dealer Sentenced To More Than 21 Years In Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — John Winton Harris, 31, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to 21 years and 10 months in prison for possessing more than 163 grams of crack cocaine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to evidence presented at trial, Sacramento police officers responded to a domestic violence complaint at an apartment complex in Sacramento. When the officers entered the apartment, they found Harris crouched in the kitchen area. He was moved to a different location in the apartment, and when officers found a large amount of cocaine base where he had been crouching in the kitchen, Harris attempted to flee. Harris claimed he did not live in the apartment, but officers found mail addressed to him at that address, as well as other personal items belonging to him in the apartment. Harris’s cellphone revealed photographs of Harris in the same apartment with a large amount of currency only days before, as well as text messages indicating he was involved in the distribution of cocaine base that very week.

The sentence imposed on Harris was based not just upon the circumstances of his offense, but also his substantial criminal history, which rendered him a career criminal under federal law. Another factor the court considered in imposing sentence was the finding that Harris obstructed justice by testifying falsely at a hearing held during his trial.

This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Pickles and Chris Highsmith prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 2:12-cr-326 MCE
Updated April 8, 2015