Cochise Prosecutor Dismisses Cases Relying On SVPD Officer Testimony

By David Morgan

Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre, last Monday morning, instructed prosecutors in his office to dismiss charges against defendants if the cases depended upon testimony from SVPD’s top K9 officer and high-profile street crimes and drug unit officer, Corporal Mike Mitchell.

Mitchell was suspended from duty several weeks ago amid credible allegations that he had sexual affairs with one or more female confidential informants.

McIntyre’s e-mail refers to “discussions I have had with SVPD and others.”

SVPD Det. Tom Ransford is reportedly handling the internal investigation. Ransford did not return a call asking for more information, including whether or not any outside agency was investigating the Mitchell matters.

McIntye notes that the unavailability of testimony by Mitchell will “greatly impact a number of serious cases.”
A Motion to Dismiss [without prejudice] has already been filed in the 2012 case involving Nubian Amon Ra. Several more are expected immediately.

A request for dismissal without prejudice [which must be approved by a judge] leaves open the possibility that prosecutors could file charges again – within statutory time limits – if they believe they have sufficient evidence-testimony to convict without that of Mitchell.

In Mitchell’s performance evalutions for year 2014 his superiors gave him praise and rave reviews as a “top producer.” SVPD Chief Tom Alinen call him a “cop’s cop” but hinted that Mitchell also caused him some concerns.

Here is Chief Alinen’s note in Mitchell’s employment file:
Mitchell, born in Douglas, AZ and married with children, has evidently been an SVPD cop since 2004 and was a policeman in Gallup, NM for a year or so prior.

While in NM, Mitchell was involved in an incident that left his police partner dead.

Also prior to employment with SVPD, Mitchell was involved in case involving a fired FBI agent who was once Mitchell’s roommate [or house guest]. Mitchell admitted in a federal case that he had unlawfully provided information to the ex-FBI agent who used it in fraudulent schemes, apparently including extortion.

SVPD has not yet formally announced Mitchell’s status. A response to a public records request is expected shortly.

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