A drug dealer with a 29-year criminal history in San Francisco was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for possessing crack with the intent to sell in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

District Attorney Kamala Harris in a prepared statement touted the successful prosecution of 47-year-old Kevin Williams as a model of the ongoing crackdown by police on drug dealing and other crime in the troubled neighborhood.

“Whoever calls drug dealing a victimless crime has never walked the Tenderloin or considered the 3,500 kids and residents of that neighborhood who deserve a safe place to live,” Harris said.

Harris promised “severe” consequences for drug dealers who continue to operate in the Tenderloin.

Williams, who didn’t live in the Tenderloin but in Mission Terrace at the southern end of the city, nevertheless plied his trade in the Tenderloin, according to the district attorney’s office.

He has prior convictions for selling crack and marijuana, possessing crack and burglary, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Brian Buckelew.

On Jan. 6, 2009, police stopped Williams in front of 344 Ellis Street after he allegedly jaywalked in front of their vehicle.

After Williams told the officers that he was on parole, officers searched him and found a black glove in his waistband with “49 individually wrapped rocks of cocaine base,” the district attorney’s office said. He also had $464 in small-bill denominations.

On Dec. 7, a jury convicted Williams of possessing crack with intent to sell. He was sentenced in San Francisco Superior Court this morning.

An anti-drug enforcement operation by San Francisco police in the Tenderloin in August and September 2009 netted 304 arrests, 91 percent of which were prosecuted, Harris’ office said.

An enhanced penalty for sales of crack or heroin near schools, which can add an additional three to five years in prison, has become an important tool in prosecution of those cases, according to Harris’ office.

That enhancement did not apply to Williams’ case because he was arrested at 11:30 p.m., after school hours, Buckelew said.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!