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CBP officer in Douglas charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting 15-year-old girl

A Douglas-area U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested Tuesday, and faces more than a dozen charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.

Aaron Thomas Mitchell, 27, abducted the girl as she was walking to school in Douglas on Monday, authorities said. In a statement, Douglas police officials said Mitchell approached the girl in a red vehicle, and "identified himself as a law enforcement officer."

Officials said Mitchell is an employee with the Office of Field Operations—a part of CBP responsible for the nation's border crossings. And, that afternoon, he was wearing his tactical vest labeled "Police."

Mitchell asked her for immigration documentation, the girl told police. After looking at the documents, he said he would take her to the police department, restrained her, and put her in his vehicle, officials said.

However, instead of taking her to the nearby police station, Mitchell drove the girl to an apartment in Sierra Vista, where he "allegedly sexually assaulted her," officials said.

Following the assault, Mitchell drove her back to Douglas that afternoon, officials said.

The girl reported the assault to police, and Douglas police officers, along with detectives with the Sierra Vista Police Department, found the apartment where Mitchell allegedly assaulted her.

CBP officials confirmed the arrest, writing that Mitchell was assigned to the Port of Douglas and was arrested by Douglas police for sexual misconduct with a minor.

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"The officer is currently employed by CBP," said a spokesman with the agency, adding that further questions about the investigation should go to Douglas police.

"CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe," he said. "We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we cooperate fully with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty." 

Court records from Cochise County show that Mitchell has been charged with 18 counts, including kidnapping, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual abuse, unlawful conduct as a peace officer, fraud, obstruction and luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

The investigation is ongoing, said Douglas police.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

An officer with the Office of Field Operations—a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection—at the Nogales Port of Entry in January 2019.