An ex-U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was captured on video telling police that he threatened his accuser.
According to federal court documents, Aaron Thomas Mitchell, 27, made this incriminating comment after his April arrest. Local detectives had left Mitchell alone in the interrogation room, and the video recorder was not turned off.
“I can’t believe that this —,” Mitchell who was a CBP employee for 10 months, and is the son two former Florida police officers could be heard saying according federal court papers. “F ——- little —. B —- claims he was raped. This is —– insane. That’s crazy, man. I better pray she doesn’t escape.”
Mitchell’s federal public defense attorneys admitted that Mitchell “muttered” his statement, but in court papers they insist that there is no evidence that this was an actual threat.
They stated that “in context, it was evident that he was upset processing the arrest.” “Indeed, he didn’t contact the victim or her family when he was released to Arizona for two weeks.”
Mitchell was indicted on 18 state charges in April. Now, he faces three federal charges: a violation of civil rights for sexually assaulting minors; kidnapping minors; and misleading state investigators according to a overriding indictment by the Department of Justice.
Mitchell could face 20 years to life imprisonment if convicted of federal charges. He also faces a $250,000 fine. Mitchell could be subject to supervised parole for his entire life. The Department of Justice stated in a statement issued Nov. 30, after the superseding Indictment was unsealed.
Mitchell was placed in custody and ordered to stay there until his trial. Mitchell was released on bond after his arraignment on state charges a few months prior and allowed to stay at his Miami parents’ home while he was under electronic surveillance. In August, he was taken into custody again after he was indicted federally on one count for kidnapping a child. A federal judge then ordered that he remain under electronic surveillance.
“If Mitchell was brave enough to kidnap the girl near her school and depraved enough that she violently and sexually assaulted her, cunning enough and careless enough not to threaten her while she is in police custody, then no of Mitchell’s proposed terms of release would reasonably ensure the safety of her victim,” prosecutors stated in court documents filed Nov. 10.
According to court papers, Mitchell was employed by the CBP at a Douglas, Arizona border post. CBP could only confirm that Mitchell was no longer employed by the department.
CBP released a statement to the Tucson Sentinel on April 28th, stating that it does not tolerate corruption or abuse in its ranks and will cooperate fully with any criminal or administrative investigation of any alleged misconduct of any of our personnel, on or off duty.
They referred all queries to Douglas Police Department at the time.
Mitchell was wearing a vest with the word “POLICE” printed on it when he saw the victim. The victim is a Mexican citizen who crossed the border to the U.S. frequently to attend Douglas high school, prosecutors stated in court papers.
Douglas is located approximately two hours southeast from Tucson, Arizona.
Mitchell drove up to the teenager in his car and asked her for her papers. He also took her backpack so that he could transport her to a station, according to Mitchell’s October appeal.
According to court documents, Mitchell “asked her age, family names, and drove her to an apartment one hour away in Sierra Vista (Arizona) after handcuffing her.”
Mitchell told her to “stay in the car” while he got a jacket and placed it over her shoulders so that the handcuffs could be hidden before walking her inside, according to court papers.
Mitchell told her to follow the instructions if she didn’t want to be hurt, and repeatedly sexually assaulted her once she was inside.
Mitchell drove the teenager to Douglas several hours later and falsely claimed that he was a Sierra Vista officer. According to court papers, he threw her backpack in a dumpster.
Mitchell was taken into custody after the victim reported Mitchell’s alleged assault to police the following day. Mitchell “gave an audio post-arrest statement in the which he admitted that he took the girl to his apartment to skim school, but stated that they only watched TV.” According to court papers, he also claimed he recognized the girl from her previous border crossings.
Mitchell denied assaulting the teenager but “DNA recovered from the girl’s genitalia was consistent Mitchell’s DNA”, the papers state.