Lexington, SC 06/03/2022 (Paul Kirby) – This week, a Lexington County jury convicted Angel Misael Ibarra, 24, on a number of drug and firearms charges. Those included Trafficking Heroin, 28 grams or more; Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime; Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, and Possession of Methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison following his conviction in Lexington County Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin imposed a sentence 25 years on the Trafficking Heroin charge, and concurrent sentences of 5 years on the weapon charge, 1 year on the Unlawful Carrying charge, and 3 years on the Possession of Methamphetamine charge. Ibarra is not eligible for parole under South Carolina law.
Assistant Solicitor Kelly Oppenheimer and Senior Assistant Solicitor Angela G. Martin prosecuted this case for the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
In September of 2018, narcotics agents with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department shared intelligence with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotic Enforcement Team regarding a subject known as “Ace” which was an alias of Ibarra. The RCSD told LCSD investigators that Ibarra had moved into Lexington County. An investigation by Richland County narcotics agents determined that “Ace” was distributing heroin.
LCSD NET agents opened their own investigation into Ibarra and began surveillance of his home. During their surveillance, law enforcement officers were able to view Ibarra going to and from a shed, located behind his home. They also observed behavior commonly displayed by people who are trafficking in illegal narcotics. Through further investigation, LCSD NET agents were able to confirm that Ibarra was in fact engaged in the sale of heroin.
After continuing to conduct surveillance, LCSD NET agents obtained a search warrant for Ibarra’s home. That search was executed on September 24, 2018, with LCSD NET and SWAT agents, as well as Richland County officers.
During the execution of the search warrant, LCSD NET agents found approximately 97 grams of heroin, 3 digital scales, over $6,000 in cash, cutting agents, balloons used for packaging the heroin, 2 rifles, 1 handgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the shed behind Ibarra’s home. Inside the home, another digital scale, more packaging balloons, more rounds of ammunition, methamphetamine, and over $1,500 in cash was located.
Ibarra was arrested by LCSD SWAT and NET agents during a traffic stop as he was approaching his home on the morning of the search. Ibarra was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle at the time. Ibarra had over $2,000 in cash in his wallet at the time of his arrest. A Glock 19 handgun was also found between his driver’s seat and center console with the grip of the gun easily accessible. Hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a loaded extended magazine were also found in his vehicle.
Since his sentencing, Ibarra has been transported to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of the sentence.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY ELEVENTH CIRCUIT SOLICITOR'S OFFICE