Man who threw cocaine off hotel balcony gets 20 years

BILOXI -- A man has been ordered to serve 20 full years in prison for distributing cocaine after authorities found some in his hotel room and some he threw off his hotel room balcony.

A Harrison County jury convicted Kenneth Ray Ainsworth, 45, of Biloxi, in a two-day trial that ended Wednesday night.

The jury heard testimony that Biloxi police officers went to a Treasure Bay Casino hotel room about 2:30 a.m. April 4, 2014, because they'd heard drugs were being sold from the room, Assistant District Attorney Beth McFayden said.

Police testified Ainsworth had a marijuana-filled cigar in his mouth when he answered the door. They said he had cocaine in his pocket and struggled to get free so he could throw the cocaine off the balcony.

Police recovered the cocaine from the roof below his hotel room, McFayden said. They also found other drugs in his room and evidence indicating he intended to distribute the drugs.

Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced Ainsworth as a habitual offender. He won't be eligible for early release from prison.

His other felony convictions include three for drugs and one for robbery, said McFayden, who prosecuted the case with Scott Lusk.