Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Columbus vice detective sentenced to 11 years in prison for depriving victims’ civil rights, obstructing justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A former Columbus vice detective was sentenced in federal court today to 132 months in prison for crimes related to kidnapping victims under the guise of an arrest.

Andrew K. Mitchell, 60, of Sunbury, pleaded guilty in December 2023 to two counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under color of law and one count of obstructing justice.

Mitchell was employed by the Columbus Division of Police from 1988 until 2019 and was assigned to the vice unit from 2017 until 2019. As part of his duties in that role, Mitchell conducted law enforcement actions for solicitation offenses.

“As a member of the vice unit and a long-serving police officer, Mitchell was well aware of the special vulnerabilities of the sex workers and often drug addicted females with which he came into contact,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “Instead of helping them seek refuge, Mitchell was the type of predator who purposely targeted these women. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to upholding the community’s work to connect victimized women to services and to prosecuting those who prey on vulnerable victims, no matter who they are.”

According to court documents, in July 2017, Mitchell picked up a sex worker who was working in the Hilltop near Sullivant and Whitethorne avenues. Mitchell was in plain clothes and an unmarked black sedan. He told the victim he was a police officer and acted as if he were doing a check for any outstanding warrants on the victim.

Mitchell used this ruse to handcuff the victim to the doorknob of his vehicle. He drove the victim to a nearby parking lot with multiple dumpsters and forcible held and detained the victim against her will before dropping her off at her boyfriend’s residence.

Similarly, in September 2017, Mitchell picked up a second sex worker in the Hilltop. Mitchell was again in plain clothes and was driving a dark SUV. He began discussing the victim’s rates for sexual activity before announcing that he was an officer with the vice unit and said she was going to jail.

Mitchell kidnapped the victim and drove her to Lindbergh Park, holding her against her will.

Mitchell was also sentenced today for obstructing justice. Specifically, during the federal investigation into Mitchell’s civil rights crimes, he directed several individuals to assist him in cleaning out one of the rental properties he owned, located on Denune Ave. The individuals disposed of evidence including photos, clothing, bedding and rental records, and used bleach extensively in the apartment to clean a bed, couch, ottoman and floor.

Mitchell was charged federally and arrested in March 2019.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Elena Iatarola, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost; Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin W. Kelley and Noah R. Litton are representing the United States in this case.

# # #

Updated May 9, 2024

Civil Rights