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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Charges Added in Case Involving Former Columbus Vice Detective

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury here returned two additional charges today in the case involving former Columbus Vice Detective Andrew K. Mitchell.

 

The superseding indictment charges Mitchell, 55, of Sunbury, with an additional count of obstructing justice and one count of destructing or removing property to prevent seizure.

 

Mitchell was arrested on March 11 on original federal charges related to allegedly kidnapping victims under the guise of an arrest and forcing those victims to engage in sex for their freedom.

 

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and Interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the charges.

 

The original seven-count indictment charged Mitchell with three counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under the color of law (up to life imprisonment), two counts of witness tampering (up to 20 years in prison), one count of obstructing justice (up to 10 years in prison) and one count of making false statements to federal agents (up to five years in prison).

 

It is alleged that – while acting under color of law – Mitchell deprived victims of their Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizures by kidnapping victims under the guise of an arrest and forcing them to have sex for their freedom.

 

Today’s superseding indictment adds another count of obstructing justice (up to 20 years in prison) and one count of destructing or removing property to prevent seizure (up to five years in prison).

 

According to the latest court document, in October 2018, Mitchell destroyed, disposed of, concealed and/or altered records, documents, furniture, rugs, blankets, linens, clothing and other objects in an attempt to prohibit them from being used as evidence in the federal case currently pending against him.

Specifically, he directed individuals to assist him in removing and disposing of potential evidence, as well as cleaning out with bleach and other chemicals, items in an apartment on Denune Avenue in Columbus.

 

It is alleged that Mitchell knowingly destroyed, damaged or removed property prior to a lawful, court-authorized search conducted by the FBI, thus preventing federal authorities from taking the property into custody.

 

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Ohio Auditor’s Office and Columbus Division of Police, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica H. Kim and Kevin W. Kelley, who are prosecuting the case.

 

Indictments merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

If you believe you are a potential victim related to this case, or have any relevant information, please call the FBI at 614-849-1777.

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Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated April 18, 2019