Lexington County Drug Dealer Convicted at Trial
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 22, 2010|
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Terry Wainwright Mitchell, age 34, of West Columbia, was convicted today in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, following a two-day trial. The federal jury convicted Mitchell on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846; and three counts of use of a telephone in furtherance of a drug felony, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 843(b).
United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia presided over the trial and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office. Mitchell faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum of life, along with $4,000,000 fine and four years of supervised release to follow his term of imprisonment.
Mitchell was one of 116 defendants charged in 2009 following a series of court-authorized, FBI-monitored wiretaps over multiple telephones in the Columbia area. The evidence in the case indicated that Mitchell, a tow truck driver, was part of a vast conspiracy of local drug dealers who were obtaining large amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine from Mexican suppliers and then distributing it in Richland and Lexington Counties. Thus far, 110 of the charged defendants have entered guilty pleas and four remain fugitives.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Columbia Violent Gang Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Columbia Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office prosecuted the trial of the case.