The FBI was searching for evidence Joshua Steven Mitchell was illegally manufacturing or modifying firearms and living under numerous aliases when they shot and killed him during a July 25 raid at his Robinson home.
Federal records that remain sealed by the court but were obtained by the Tribune-Herald show that federal authorities suspected Joshua Steven Mitchell of unlawful manufacture of firearms and silencers, being a felon in possession of firearms and what the FBI called “false personation.”
Autopsy reports show FBI agents raiding the home at 780 E. Stegall Drive in Robinson, which Mitchell shared with a woman and her 7-year-old son, shot Mitchell four times in the head and neck and once in the arm with rifles as they attempted to serve the search warrant.
Federal authorities have said Mitchell, 44, posed a threat to the agents and that led to his death.
After the shooting, agents seized at least 109 items from Mitchell’s home, garage and storage sheds, including numerous pistols, rifles and shotguns, ammunition, muzzle flash suppressors, cameras and related photo equipment, computers, iPads and cellphones, according to a receipt for property returned to the court of U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey C. Manske, who issued the warrant.
Also, the records reveal agents seized a black wallet with a Civil Defense Agency agent badge and three CDA contractor ID cards. They also found two Capital One Mastercards and one Capital One Visa Card under the name “Giosue Michell” and another CDA card with the alias “Gissue Michel.” They also seized bank and financial information with a Hubbard address listed to Michael Paul Brooks, according to inventory lists.
In an affidavit to seek the search warrant, the FBI told the judge they were seeking firearms, magazines, firearm attachments, including silencers, ammunition and gun parts; receipts or other documents related to “the purchase or sale of firearms, the registration of firearms or other firearms transactions, or which identify persons who previously owned or possessed firearms, or which reflect profits from the sale of firearms.”
The application contains photos and blueprints of the East Stegall residence and detailed descriptions of the home and out buildings.
Also, the agents told the judge they were seeking records showing knowledge of firearms laws or rules, and prohibitions regarding the purchase, transfer, possession or sale of firearms and ammunition; photographs and videotapes of persons displaying firearms; and any evidence of the identification or participation of any “accomplices, co-conspirators, facilitators or witnesses to Mitchell’s possession, acquisition or use of firearms, silencers or ammunition of any kind.”
The FBI also was searching for “items involved in the manufacturing and/or modifying of firearms, firearm parts, including but not limited to, lower receivers, upper receivers, grips, stocks, magazines, trigger assemblies and barrels for AR-15-style firearms, AR-15 blanks” and machine guns or machine gun parts, silencers and other items used in the manufacture of modification of firearms and silencers.
Also, agents sought “any documents, materials, identification cards, passports or other personally identifying information with false or alias names, or appearing to be used for attribution to any department, agency or law enforcement bureau under the authority of the United States of America.”
Records show agents also were seeking evidence related to the discharge of firearms inside the residence and any blood or biological matter related to the discharge of a firearm.
FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee said she was not authorized to comment on the investigation.
Child Protective Services reports related to the family state Mitchell was wearing body armor and a helmet when agents arrived at the home at about 6 a.m. Reports show Mitchell was killed at about 6:45 a.m.
Before the confrontation with Mitchell, agents removed a woman, Clara Santos, who was in a relationship with Mitchell, along with her 7-year-old son, the report states.
After the shooting, CPS caseworkers interviewed the boy, who told authorities the family had numerous guns, and Mitchell “had ‘secrets that he could not tell,’ ” the documents state.
The boy was placed in foster care. His father, Jose Manuel Gonzalez, 47, was convicted in August on one count of continuous sexual abuse of a young child and one count of indecency with a child by contact. Gonzalez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for sexually abusing Santos’ daughter, Clarisa, for five years beginning when she was 8.
Clarisa, 14, took her own life last year at the home where Mitchell was killed shortly before she was scheduled to testify against Gonzalez at his initial trial setting. Mitchell complained to the Tribune-Herald last year that law enforcement officials seized his laptop as part of the investigation into Clarisa’s death and would not return it.
The contents of Mitchell’s laptop likely led to the federal investigation, sources told the Tribune-Herald.
The Tribune-Herald typically does not identify victims of sexual abuse without their permission or report on most suicides. However, Santos’ mother and Mitchell said they hoped to create a foundation in Clarisa’s memory called One More Day to help prevent suicide.