For Immediate Release
Kershaw Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison on Drug and Gun Charges
Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Ike Joel Mitchell, age 33, of Kershaw County, South Carolina, was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to two counts of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana; two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm; and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Senior United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Columbia sentenced Mitchell to 240 months in federal prison, to be followed by a 10-year term of court-ordered supervision and a special assessment of $500. There is no parole in the federal system.
Evidence presented to the court established that on June 4, 2017, the Camden Police Department located Mitchell sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car at a local shopping center. Mitchell had an outstanding arrest warrant in their jurisdiction. Mitchell was asked to step out of the car. Under the front driver’s seat, the police found a .22 caliber handgun with one round of .22 caliber ammunition in it. They also found a green book bag that contained marijuana, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and a digital scale. Mitchell was arrested but was later released on bond.
On September 20, 2017, Mitchell was indicted federally on drug and gun charges and remained a fugitive until January 25, 2018. On that date, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department learned that Mitchell was at a local Kershaw County hotel. As officers approached the hotel, they saw him walking with a female while talking on his cell phone. In his hand, multiple officers saw him carrying a grey plastic bag. As Mitchell saw the police, he tried to run through the breezeway of the hotel but stopped and returned to where he was initially seen. He was arrested. Officers found on him two keys for the hotel, a .38 caliber handgun, marijuana, and roughly $600 dollars.
The officers found the grey plastic bag that Mitchell had discarded and discovered it contained heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and two unopened bottles of a codeine mixture.
The officers also used the room keys found on Mitchell and searched the hotel room. Under one of the beds, they found a blue book bag containing methamphetamine, a .357 caliber handgun, and a mason jar containing heroin; and a black book bag containing eight additional unopened bottles of the codeine mixture.
Federal law prohibits Mitchell from possessing a firearm as a result of prior convictions for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine base.
The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kershaw County Sheriff's Office, and Camden Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys William K. Witherspoon and Christopher Taylor of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.