Drug defendant misses Florence court appearance

Adrian Mitchem

FLORENCE, Wis. — A 34-year-old Niagara man who faces several drug-related charges after being arrested in Aurora in November failed to appear Tuesday in Florence County Circuit Court, forfeiting a $5,000 bond.

Adrian S. Mitchem is accused of five felonies and two misdemeanors, including possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Mitchem was arrested Nov. 13 after Florence County sheriff’s deputies reportedly found him about 2 a.m. slumped against the steering wheel of his van in front of the Aurora Liquors store.

When deputies managed to wake Mitchem, he told them he had left his girlfriend’s apartment and pulled over to rest, too tired to continue home.

Deputies stated they smelled burned marijuana from the vehicle’s interior and described Mitchem’s eyes as bloodshot and watery. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests, deputies said.

During a search of his vehicle, deputies reportedly found a digital scale, two scoops, resealable plastic bags, a smoking device, methamphetamine and various pills later identified as gabapentin, clonazepam and alprazolam.

Deputies also found in his left pants pocket another smoking device, gabapentin pills, buprenorphine strips and $304 in cash, according to the complaint.

At the Florence County Jail, a more thorough search discovered methamphetamine, alprazolam, and buprenorphine in the waistband of Mitchem’s pants, according to the complaint.

In addition to the methamphetamine charge, Mitchem is accused of possession with intent to distribute schedule 5 drugs, a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison; possession with intent to deliver a prescription drug, a six-year felony; possession with intent to distribute schedule 4 drugs, a six-year felony; possession of methamphetamine, a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison; possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail; and operating with a restricted controlled substance in the blood, third offense, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for Mitchem’s arrest and a new bond set at $10,000.

The Florence County Clerk’s Office was not sure whether Mitchem has legal representation.

Brian Christensen can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 29, or bchristensen@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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