South Carolina

Midlands drug suspect bonded out of jail and ran. Then the feds caught up with him

A Kershaw County man who was arrested on drug charges, bonded out and arrested again on federal charges after being on the run for months will spend the next two decades in prison on drug and weapon charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ike Joel Mitchell, 33, of Kershaw County, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with 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, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon. U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten sentenced Mitchell Wednesday to 240 months — or 20 years — in federal prison. There is no parole in federal prison.

Mitchell was arrested at a Camden shopping center June 4, 2017, by Camden police, who had an outstanding warrant for him, according to the release. In Mitchell’s car, police found a .22-caliber handgun with one round of ammunition in it, and a book bag containing marijuana, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and a digital scale.

Mitchell was arrested and later released on bond, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was indicted on federal charges Sept. 20, 2017, but remained a fugitive until Jan. 25, 2018, when the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force and Kershaw County deputies got a tip that he was at a local hotel, according to the release. They found Mitchell at the hotel, carrying a bag. He tried to run but was stopped and arrested.

Inside the bag, officers found heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and two unopened bottles of codeine mixture, prosecutors said. In Mitchell’s hotel room, they found a book bag containing more meth, a .357-caliber handgun and jar containing heroin, and another book bag containing eight more unopened bottles of codeine mixture.

Because he had prior convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine base, Mitchell was prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

After he is released from prison, he will have 10 years of court-ordered supervision and a special assessment of $500, according to the release.

Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.