Former Columbus vice officer Andrew Mitchell indicted on new charges in federal court

Andrew K. Mitchell - Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio

COLUMBUS – Former Columbus Division of Police vice officer Andrew Mitchell – who is already facing state murder and manslaughter charges and federal charges alleging that he abused his police powers – has been re-indicted on an additional count of obstructing justice and one count of destructing or removing property to prevent seizure.

Federal prosecutors allege that Mitchell betrayed public trust and abused his power as a vice officer by coaxing women into sex acts under the threat of their arrest.

In court records, the prosecutors also allege that Mitchell – who is a landlord with several Columbus rental properties – rented to known prostitutes and other women who he allowed to forgo paying rent in exchange for sex.

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Sources confirm to 10 Investigates that the basis for this most recent indictment stems from the fact Andrew Mitchell was aware in September of 2018 that he was under investigation by the FBI’s public corruption task force and that people close to him cleaned out Apartment E at one of his rental properties on Denune Ave. which was described as his “home away from home.”

A police report obtained by 10 Investigates from early September 2018 states that a man with a gun was seen “running from Andrew Mitchell’s.” That same report states that “Andrew Mitchell lives in Apt. E.” Federal agents raided his Delaware County home earlier last year. He resigned from the force a day after being charged in federal court last month.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued the following statement Thursday that said in part:

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 allegedly 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.

When FBI agents descended on his Denune Ave. rental properties this week, 10 Investigates witnessed them taking out boxes and containers filled with documents.

10 Investigates also witnessed agents examining a trailer that was parked in the parking lot. A tenant, Robert Garmany, said that he and his family agents were woken up by federal agents who began banging on a door to the basement of the adjacent rental house he lives in around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

One person said that agents also removed cuttings from furniture samples from an apartment and discovered other materials of interest including a tanning bed.

FBI task force agents also served search warrants at a home on 20th Avenue, 10 Investigates has learned. A man who answered the door there Wednesday acknowledged that the FBI was there and that the raid was related to Andrew Mitchell but declined to provide specifics.

Mitchell is also facing murder and manslaughter charges at the state level for the fatal shooting of Donna Castleberry during an alleged prostitute sting in August.

He has pleaded not guilty in both cases and remains in federal custody.

When 10 Investigates first confronted Mitchell in October about the allegations he was facing, he told us: “I can’t talk to you, I’m sorry. My attorney told me not to talk to you.”

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