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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hogsett Announces Indictment Of Putnam County Reserve Deputy

Sheriff’s son provided false testimony before federal grand jury in investigation alleging excessive force by colleague

INDIANAPOLIS - U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett and the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Indianapolis Division, Robert A. Jones, announced the arrest of Andrew Fenwick, a/k/a “Mo”, age 24, of Greencastle, Indiana. Fenwick serves as a Reserve Deputy with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) and is the son of Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick.

A federal grand jury indictment, unsealed this morning, charges Fenwick with three counts of false declarations made by Fenwick before it. The indictment alleges that Fenwick provided false testimony during an investigation into alleged activity of excessive force of PCSD Deputy Terry Joe Smith. On March 4, 2014, the grand jury returned an indictment alleging that Smith had used excessive force against citizens on four occasions in his capacity as a PCSD Deputy. The charges against Smith remain pending and are currently set for trial on April 28, 2014.

The grand jury indictment alleges that Fenwick provided material false statements with respect to (1) the degree to which Fenwick used force to assist Smith in the apprehension of an individual near Moore’s Bar in Greencastle on November 6, 2011, (2) whether Fenwick had seen a police report prepared by Smith concerning Smith’s use of force against another individual at the Cloverdale Truck Stop on December 28, 2013, and (3) whether the victim of Smith’s use of force at the Cloverdale Truck Stop had struck Fenwick with a closed first before Smith used physical force against this individual.

"Just one month ago, I was here discussing the conduct of a Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy involving allegations of the mistreatment of citizens in his custody,” said Hogsett. “Interfering with an investigation will not be tolerated by this office and we will hold those who do so, fully accountable. These charges allege that Mr. Fenwick chose to lie rather than assist authorities as they investigated allegations of excessive force by a law enforcement officer who has taken an oath to ‘serve and protect’,” Hogsett asserted.

Hogsett praised the outstanding law enforcement work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is a leading partner in the U.S. Attorney's Public Integrity Working Group, which was launched in April 2012 with the stated purpose of aggressively investigating allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing by public officials in Indiana.

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley A. Blackington and MaryAnn T. Mindrum, who are prosecuting the case for the government, Smith could be sentenced to up to five years in federal prison for each count, and could also face significant fines and federal supervision for up to three years once he has served his prison term.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 26, 2015