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Drug offender convicted in Platte County

Darrell Harris was convicted in Platte County Circuit Court on Monday of three felony charges including drug trafficking and possessing drugs with the intent to distribute.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd’s office also presented evidence that Harris, 42, is a prior and persistent drug offender, which will increase the punishment for each of his crimes.

"The evidence showed Darrell Harris is a major drug trafficker. He has been implicated in a drug-related murder in Kansas. He is precisely the kind of person for whom the persistent drug offender law was designed,” Zahnd said.

On Halloween night 2001, Harris was involved in a traffic accident while driving on Interstate 435 near Highway 152. He fled the scene and attempted to hide a duffel bag in a grassy area near the interstate.

Two witnesses, however, watched Harris try to hide the bag and notified police. When officers of the Missouri Highway Patrol located the bag, they found 194 grams of methamphetamine, 392 grams of marijuana, 25 grams of cocaine, two digital scales, 32 individually-packaged hypodermic needles, and an open package of plastic sandwich bags.

As a result of the Highway Patrol’s discoveries, Harris was charged with and convicted of felony drug trafficking in the second degree for possessing the methamphetamine and two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute for possessing the marijuana and cocaine.

Harris previously had been found guilty in Wyandotte County, Kansas for attempting to possess cocaine and later for possession of cocaine.

Those convictions occurred in August 1995 and August 1999, respectively. Harris had more recently been charged with felony murder in Wyandotte County. He ultimately pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated battery for that crime and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Zahnd said, “We are pleased that as a result of his convictions in Platte County, Mr. Harris will spend considerable time behind bars.”

Harris faces 10 to 30 years in prison on each count of which he was convicted, without the possibility of probation or parole.

Sentencing in Platte County is set for March 6.