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Repeat drug offender sentenced to 15 years for intention to distribute heroin and meth

Kenneth Charles Looney, age 42, was sentenced yesterday in Lexington County General Sessions Court to 15 years for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine – 2nd Offense; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; and Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon.  The sentence was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman.

Looney was scheduled to go to trial on all counts this week in Lexington County when he elected to enter a guilty plea instead.  Evidence prepared for trial established that on May 16, 2017, agents with Lexington County’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) executed a search warrant at 409 Cunningham Road where Looney was found in possession of four times the legal inference weight for “black tar” heroin.  Looney was also in possession of over five grams of “ice”, a common form of methamphetamine. Looney was in possession of over $4,000.00 in U.S. currency, packaging baggies, and digital scales, all associated with the distribution of illegal narcotics. Looney was also in possession of a loaded .40 caliber Taurus pistol. He was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a previous violent crime conviction for drug trafficking.

Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitors Melanie Graham and Matt Edgerton prosecuted the case.  Assistant Solicitor Graham remarked, “We take cases like Looney’s very seriously in our Circuit as the State’s death rate due to heroin and opioid overdoses has exceeded the State’s homicide rate in recent years.  This case is an excellent example of the continued dedication Lexington County’s NET has shown in combatting this epidemic.”

This is a second strike for Looney. He will be required to serve at least eighty-five percent (85%) of his prison sentence without parole. Looney’s prior record includes convictions for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, strong arm robbery, and a 2012 conviction for trafficking methamphetamine.

Looney was transferred to S.C. Department of Corrections to begin service of his sentence immediately.