Pharmacy burglar sentenced to 43 years

May 19—Christopher Ballard, 39, was sentenced Wednesday, May 17 to 43 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice for Possession of a Controlled Substance in a drug-free zone, and 16 months in State Jail for money laundering, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Corsicana police arrested Ballard Oct. 30, 2019 on a warrant for violating probation in Young County and found to be in possession of $18,593 in cash.

A warrant was obtained to search the apartment where Ballard had been living with a girlfriend because the police had information that Ballard was the subject of an investigation by Ennis police, Texas DPS, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Corsicana Detectives Palos, Girard and Jock, along with detectives from Ennis PD searched the apartment where they seized ten bottles of hydrocodone containing a total of 7,500 tablets. The bottles were later traced to the burglary of a pharmacy in Quitman.

Ballard had plead guilty to burglary of a pharmacy in Young county and it was later determined that he was suspected in similar pharmacy burglaries in Callahan, Crosby, Gillespie, Wood, Cass, Comanche, Eastland, Gray, Howard, Mills, Moore, Palo Pinto, Potter, San Saba and Van Zandt counties in Texas and additional similar pharmacy burglaries in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. Ballard has not been found guilty of those burglaries. During the trial evidence of pharmacy burglaries in Crosby, Wood and Young counties was introduced.

An agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation gathered and assembled evidence including photographs, CCTV and police reports from 13 pharmacy burglaries in Kansas and 14 similar burglaries in Texas. The burglaries were committed in 2017, 2018 and 2019. When he was arrested in Corsicana, Ballard also had pending charges for a pharmacy burglary in Arkansas where he was arrested fleeing the scene of a pharmacy burglary.

The trial was held in the District Court with jury selection last Friday and evidence presented Monday and Tuesday. The jury returned verdicts of guilty on both charges Tuesday afternoon and the Ballard was sentenced by District Judge James Lagomarsino Wednesday morning. The case was prosecuted by ADAs Thomas Headen and Karen Dennison with testimony by officers from Corsicana PD and officers who traveled from Crosby, Wood and Young counties.

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