Police Beat-- Frankford

State trooper pleads guilty to harassment

Delaware State Police trooper Ryan J. Mitchell, 36, of Frankford, pled guilty last month to one count each of Harassment and Misuse of a Computer in connection with unwanted and unsolicited contact with a Sussex County woman.

Mitchell was sentenced immediately by Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes to two years in jail, which was then suspended in favor of supervised probation.

Mitchell was indicted on the charges on Aug. 8, after the DSP had initiated a criminal investigation upon receiving a stalking complaint on April 5. Mitchell was arrested on April 8 and was suspended without pay.

Mitchell was a Delaware State Police sergeant, assigned to the Major Crimes Unit at Troop 4 in Georgetown at the time of these incidents. He was responsible for overseeing detectives investigating robberies, serious assaults and additional crimes.

Mitchell was suspended without pay and benefits and remained so at the time of his sentencing.

The DSP investigation into the complaints against Mitchell revealed that Mitchell had utilized a Delaware State Police computer and accessed the secured DELJIS computer network and improperly accessed information about the victim and her husband, and that he had made continuous unsolicited contact via e-mails, letters and phone messages to the victim from late February 2011 through early April 2011.

The communications contained law enforcement-sensitive materials, descriptive statements concerning the victim’s physical appearance and other statements that the DSP said caused the victim significant emotional distress.