Andrew Fenwick indicted on federal charges

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 ~ Updated 12:44 AM

A Putnam County reserve deputy is facing federal charges for public corruption in connection with accusations against another county deputy.

Andrew Fenwick, 24, of Greencastle, is accused of providing false testimony during the federal investigation of suspended deputy T.J. Smith.

Smith is charged with excessive force in four incidents and is awaiting an April 28 trial in federal court.

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 Tuesday morning.

A federal grand jury indictment, unsealed Tuesday, 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 Smith's alleged activity.

The grand jury indictment alleges that Fenwick provided material false statements with respect to:

-- The degree to which Fenwick used force to assist Smith in the apprehension of an individual near Moore's Bar in Greencastle on Nov. 6, 2011;

-- 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 Dec. 28, 2013, and;

-- 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.

Andrew Fenwick, aka "Mo", is the son of Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick.

In United States District Court Tuesday afternoon, Fenwick made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Craig McKee.

Represented by attorney Bill Smock, Fenwick waived formal arraignment as well as the official reading of his charges.

McKee explained that, if convicted, each charge carries with it a prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000 and supervised release of up to three years.

Although Fenwick was arrested by FBI agents Tuesday morning and was in custody for the hearing, Deputy United States Attorney Bradley Blackington did not request further detainment, saying Fenwick did not meet the standards for remaining in custody.

"These charges do not involve violence and we don't think he's a flight risk. He's a lifelong member of the community," Blackington said in the press conference preceding the hearing.

Fenwick was released following the hearing, with a number of conditions, including meeting with a federal pre-trial services officer, retaining or seeking employment, remaining in the Southern District of Indiana, no contact with victims or other witnesses, no drug or excessive alcohol use and no possession of firearms or dangerous weapons.

While the final condition would have been problematic to Fenwick's role as a reserve deputy, it is no longer an issue, as he has not been on the force since mid-March.

Sheriff's department Chief Deputy Tom Helmer told the

Banner Graphic Tuesday evening that Fenwick was removed from the reserves shortly after Smith's indictment.

A problem arose when Fenwick defended Smith on his Facebook page, behavior that upset some other deputies. Helmer advised that Sheriff Fenwick, not wanting the dissension, removed his son from the reserves at that time.

In further court proceedings, McKee said a trial date of June 16 had been set with Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson presiding. However, this date is subject to change.

The state has requested that the trials of Smith and Fenwick be presided over by the same judge. Since Smith's Monday, April 28 trial is scheduled for Judge William Lawrence, one of the trials is likely to have a new date in front of a different judge.

Speaking to the media before the hearing, Hogsett and Blackington shared some insight on how the case against Fenwick came about.

"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," Hogsett said. "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 praised the 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.

Asked what effect the charges against Fenwick had on the Smith case, Blackington said the effect was limited, as Fenwick's alleged lies were in support of Smith.

"I believe that our case against Terry Smith has been charged. The investigative phase is done and we're ready to go to trial," Blackington said. "This indictment wasn't sought to strengthen our case against Smith. I think our case against Terry Smith remains the same as it did before this indictment."

When questioned if the arrest of two sheriff's department officers should cause alarm for the citizens of Putnam County, prosecutors sent mixed signals.

"I think it depends if you look at it as the glass being half empty or the glass being half full," Blackington said. "What I would say is there were a lot of police officers and deputies in this case who came forward, told the truth, cooperated with the investigation. Now we have a situation where there's one deputy who's been charged with excessive use of force, one that's charged with perjury. That type of conduct's unacceptable, but if you look at the conduct of other law enforcement officers who stepped forward and did the right thing, that's highly commendable."

Hogsett followed with a slightly contradictory comment.

"It's not unusual for me to talk about, in many of these public integrity prosecutions, a culture of corruption. I'm not saying that one exists here, but typically, corrupt people tend to gravitate toward corrupt people," he said.

From the sheriff's department perspective, Helmer said they had not been aware of the specifics of the investigation, but knew more information had been subpoenaed in recent weeks. He said he believed the FBI is still investigating.

At the close of the press conference, asked if there were any further connections in the department, Blackington was noncommittal.

"We don't have any comment about the investigation as it would proceed beyond these two indictments," Blackington said.

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  • and the cards begin to fall.......

    -- Posted by Falcon9 on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 12:19 PM
  • How deep down the rabbit hole does this go?

    -- Posted by ritomase on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 12:36 PM
  • Can't say I didn't see this coming, Now the statement from Steve that he was not aware of any of this....I'm sure that is next.

    -- Posted by MotoD on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 2:07 PM
  • Elections have consequences. Our consequences are most likely civil lawsuits, judgments, increased taxes, and declining property values resulting from increased taxes to pay many attorneys. We as a People have been Indicted too.

    -- Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 2:08 PM
  • 1gaclark1 ? Not sure how elections have anything to do with it. One cop is busted for excessive force multiple times and another is now in trouble for lying about it. But we will be paying a lot of court fee's because we elected whomever and trusted they do the right of corrupt politics.

    -- Posted by MotoD on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 2:12 PM
  • Everyone just might be surprised at how much this really will cost us as taxpayers when civil lawsuits come against the county from the four alledged victims. And yes, they will sue! the time to clean the top brass and the little followers. I do believe this county has had enough the last five-six years and it's time that we all stand up and take this county back. I'm sure it will be a relief to those honest deputies to see all the bad apples gone from the Sheriff's Department Let's get honest, hard working people in all facets of government. Come on Putnam County, you really can do this at the next primary!

    -- Posted by putcocvb on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 2:29 PM
  • If people do what they are supposed to do, they wouldn't be in any trouble...whether you are lying, beating up people (using excessive force), etc. etc...Just be good to people, be respectful, be courteous.....This really looks bad on the whole county. I really hope we all take note and elect someone better than this come the next election.

    -- Posted by taxpayer74 on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 2:55 PM
  • How true, peoplenotpolitics and taxpayer74. So many times, those that are running only know you before the election. Then after it's over and they have secured the win, they could care less. The one that slays me is someone will say, "oh I went to school with him over 30 years ago and we were such good friends". hahahaha, so what. No one seems to vote with their head anymore. Well this could come back to bite all of us you know where.

    -- Posted by putcocvb on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 3:13 PM
  • My personal belief is to ask each one WHY they are running. I belief one is actually running for us and to change the corrupt happenings. One for money, and the other to keep the job. They may all be nice guys, but in the end nice isnt what we need.

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 3:31 PM
  • Hmmmmm.I agree with ritomase. I am very curious how far down the rabbit hole this will go. Can anyone say "superiority complex." The deception and hypocrisy run deep!!!!!

    -- Posted by mercyme on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 4:04 PM
  • I wont name names. Iam not trying to sway anyone. I am only stating my opinion. I am for whoever speaks against wrong and not scared to stand against it. I have talked to all 3. I wont vote just because there are a few bad apples and dont judge people as a group.

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 5:00 PM
  • "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

    -Abraham Lincoln-

    -- Posted by donantonioelsabio on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 5:33 PM
  • Lying to a grand jury is like shooting yourself in the leg.... oh wait: he did that too. Forget it.

    -- Posted by jorge on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 5:47 PM
  • I just went out and pulled the Fenwick signs from my front yard. I guess I am a poor judge of character as I also voted for Frisbee and that blew up in my face. I think it is time to clean house. Out with the old and in with some new blood and that applies for commissioner's race also.

    -- Posted by albert on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 6:12 PM
  • Dont slay the whole department...anyone that stands against wrong must believe strongly

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 6:37 PM
  • The wake up alarm sounded years ago, but the People of Putnam County hit the snooze button at even greater expense.

    -- Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 9:58 PM
  • Simple minds..a person that saw the problems...crucify them all...just what they wanted to happen ..falling intotheir plan..good job

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 10:28 PM
  • You are forgetting people DiD SEE IT!!!!it takes a big man to go against his boss....but if you Cant see that..we will be in the same boat 4 years from now

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 10:52 PM
  • Wondering how many more provided false testimony ~ there must be more in this conspiracy.

    -- Posted by Agent 007 on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 11:22 PM
  • If the inmates knew about what was going on, then I wonder how the "good ole local home grown deputies" didn't know about it?

    -- Posted by glowbug on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 11:44 PM
  • true!!! Like he or she said...THINK!!!!! Im sure your comment will get deleted...even tjough you just stated your opinion. Until this has all happened and effected a very good friend of mine, i never paid attention, but now that i have, investigate. Ask questions! See what people contribute to campaigns. Its wrong.,never thought it would be our town

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 11:47 PM
  • Are the people of Putnam County so blind that they don't see the Political Corruption in these recent arrests? Did they not notice that an FBI Agent is running for Sheriff? Do they not see a farmer who will tell any story just to smear everyone just to get the position... C'mon people, I wonder why they arrested one in Early March then released him on his own without bail and now they arrest the Sheriffs son and he was released the same day without bail. But by the time they are both defended in court and acquitted, the political takeover will already be completed and they will have used the people of Putnam County to get it done and the people will be stuck with the politically corrupt administration. Don't fall for the dirty politics and the chance that it was just a coincidence that these charges were filed in front of the election. And just a coincidence that one was available to hog the camera quick to smear the Sheriff. Don't fall for this deception, political witch hunt and smear campaign just weeks before the primary election.

    -- Posted by wearenotthatstupid on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 11:50 PM
  • It is apparent that some need to consider changing their user names prior to posting propaganda, but nevertheless please indulge me for a moment while I respond. "Political Corruption" has been the mainstay for at least the last decade in this county, one which I'm sure was not a consideration for the Federal Bureau of Investigation on whether or not to investigate this during a campaign year. Neither of the candidates running against the incumbent are FBI agents, although one has worked as a task force member. Since the FBI was mentioned as apparently having some hidden agenda in politics, I bet they would be insulted by the fact someone believes they make erroneous arrests that just result in "acquittals". A "politically corrupt administration" is the norm here. We are striving for so much more. Let's not try the mud slinging technique here and just stick to the facts. There has been wrong doing uncovered, and that alone bothers only the ones who are worried about wrongdoing. The citizens of Putnam County aren't programmable beings that will just take someone's words for truth because it fits your political agenda. They have the ability to reason based upon facts they have gathered or will gather, regardless of who likes or dislikes it. Let's all use common sense here, it has been missing from the department for far too long.

    I swear or affirm under penalties of perjury that the foregoing representations are true.

    -- Posted by Amazed_Wow on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 12:41 AM
  • I do believe this is part of the political game someone is playing. I do not condone the acts of either the abuser or the one supporting his good friend. I think the "Good Ole Boy" network has effected us all in someway. From the "I can't believe they would do that, they're so and so's child" to the "Whew, I only got a warning from that cop". What we decide to do on election day is a personal choice. I don't think this would have happened if it were not an election year. Such a sad state of affairs. What we need to do is take action at the time, not when we can gain from the incident. Maybe we should look at the positive side of the past years and compare it against the negative of the present.

    -- Posted by whatruthinking2 on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 7:13 AM
  • Every police officer who stood by and did nothing to stop the excessive force being deployed at the time,are as guilty as the officer who is doing it,guilty by assosition!WRONG is WRONG! Don't matter if your a cop or citzian! What ever happened to SERVE and PROTECT! Makes it very hard to TRUST ANY officer of the LAW,It'a a sad time for ALL Putnam County law enforcement!

    -- Posted by obeone on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 8:27 AM
  • Again, there is a divide within the department and has been for some time. Why do you think that is? Because people in the department tried to stop it, hard to stop when you arent in charge

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 8:55 AM
  • Let me start by saying I do not know the whole truth of what is going on at the Putnam County Sheriff's department so I refuse to post anything claiming anyone else's opinions are wrong or right, with that being said it is in my opinion that the timing of all of this seems convenient. Let's say I am a local government offical working with a candiate for sheriff and I am wanting to bring down the current sheriff and not only him but the entire department, where do I start? Let's see who in the sheriff's department is close with the Fenwick's, TJ Smith. Who in the sheiff's department has a prior misdemeanor on their record, TJ Smith and just like that you have your fall guy. You can look at any officer and the arrest they make and say they used excessive force because that is a subjective thing, what I think is excessive may not be what you think is excessive and vice versa.

    Now with that being said do I think the people mentioned in this article or any other regarding this case are innocent, no. I do not know the truth and will not claim to know the truth but for the people out there that believe there is not more to consider think again.

    -- Posted by beheard04 on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 9:50 AM
  • Police corruption - covering each others crimes. We saw this behavior unfold within IMPD as a fellow guilty officer, David Bisard has his criminal behavior systematically covered up by the department.

    -- Posted by Et tu Brutus? on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 10:11 AM
  • LOL why did my comment get deleted?

    -- Posted by MotoD on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 10:26 AM
  • beheard04 I understand it looks suspect, but I'm pretty sure this has been an ongoing thing for quite some time right? The investigation I mean. I guess I'm not allowed to make logical reasoning on the site or else the comments get deleted. All I can say is the department and every law officer needs to have INTEGRITY. Once that is tarnished, there is no getting it back

    -- Posted by MotoD on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 10:27 AM
  • What I had said that was deleted was basically that Fenwick (unless I'm misreading what the banner reported) had lied about having no knowledge of the pending investigation of T.J. Smith. Which led to the FBI stating the department was notified almost 30 days prior to the charges. However T.J. was allowed to remain on duty that entire time. That was a bold face lie was it not?? If so then how can the public trust you?

    -- Posted by MotoD on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 10:32 AM
  • 2 FBI agents are in a bar.

    FBI agent 1 says "Hey FBI agent 2, it is primary time in Indiana. Let's randomly pick out a county and see if we can screw up their elections."

    FBI agent 2 says "Hmmmm, I think Putnam county looks good. We haven't been there since the last Sheriff took some money that wasn't his."

    FBI agent 1 "Yeah sounds good. I can't wait to go to little ole Putnam County and screw up their elections."

    Sounds kind of strange don't you think that the FBI is so concerned with the Putnam County Sheriff primary???? It sounds strange because that is not the case at all!!!! The investigation, which I am not going to pretend I know everything about but do know a little bit, was going on at the very minimum MONTHS maybe longer before anything came out in the media. So for people to say that all the on goings of what is occurring at the Sheriff's Department has to do with the upcoming election is just crazy!!!!

    ***NEWSFLASH***The FBI and US Attorney's office does NOT give 2 shakes of a rats behind as to who wins in the upcoming Sheriffs race in Putnam County Indiana. Use your brains a little bit people!

    -- Posted by bottomline on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 1:50 PM
  • I must have missed something in the comments as I don't see anyone saying the FBI cares about the Putnam County sheriff election. I for one posted local government cares about it as well as a sheriff candidate and I beleive enough so that they would file a complaint against the department/officers to try and bring it down. Perhaps I missed those comments though as some seem to mysteriously disappear.

    -- Posted by beheard04 on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 2:50 PM
  • I wish to entertain all with the words of Colonel Curtis D. Earp Jr. who is my mentor and kin to the former Sheriff of Tombstone, Arizona fame. Colonel Earp said, "Clark, if you want to be a cop, be a cop. If you want to be a criminal, be a criminal, but don't be both because the habits of the cop expose the criminal." The habits of a cop, prosecutor , and judge are daily writings that seem innocuous at the time of writing only to become evidentiary at a later date.

    -- Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 3:01 PM
  • I was told months ago that there was an FBI investigation proceeding here in Putnam County. In fact, well before Thanksgiving. Many past and present employees of the Sheriff's department have been interviewed. What did you see and when did you see it? What did you read and when did you read it? Who else do you know of that saw it or read it and when? Were you coached into writing a report a particular way? If so by who? These are the questions that beg to be answered. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there seems to be some political motivation behind the timing of these arrests and charges, what with the primaries only weeks away. BUT, to think that a US attorney or the FBI have any interest in our local flavor of good old boy's club is silly. It may be a form of payback from a favor granted years ago.

    -- Posted by Vernie1 on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 3:20 PM
  • It is a shame that the political backdrop of this incident brings out the conspiracy theorists. In reality it appears that people broke the law, were arrested and indicted, and will now have to face the consequences of the choices they made. That seems pretty straight forward to me. Unfortunately, a person's actions always affect others. I guess they weren't thinking of that when they made the choices that got them in trouble.

    -- Posted by piglet1129 on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 12:17 AM
  • If you want to look into conspiracies...why did it take the FBI to get to this point? Dont we have someone in a county office to prosecute these types of acts?

    -- Posted by peoplenotpolitics on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 11:43 AM
  • I have lived in Putnam County almost my entire life. I have always loved it here. My husband and I were out for a drive, and asked each other, what has happened here? Everything has just gone to hell. All the lies untrusting disrespect, It did not use to be this way at all. I know what we need is the trust, respect, dignity, and a Sheriff who is honest--at any cost. We have found that in one of the 3, not because we went to school with him, or that we just know him..we honestly know he is a man of his word and will bring this county back the way it used to be. I myself cannot wait to welcome him as the New Putnam County Shriff..

    -- Posted by gwilley54 on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 3:15 PM
  • There resides a distinction between conspiracy and political considerations while applying justice. When some public corruption incidents are ignored while other incidents are prosecuted, an invitation advances to discuss motivation behind selective prosecution. This is important given that the 5th and 14th Amendments of our Constitution establish the Right to Due Process and the Right to Equal Protection. When judges are prosecutors are exempted from their documented acts while deputies face damnation, our Constitutional Rights become infringed. Moreover, we all were indirectly Indicted given 42 USC 1983 and the civil consequences of that law. With the corruption leadership being exempted for their documented performances, we should expect these incidents to continue. Prosecute all, or prosecute none equally.

    -- Posted by on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 6:51 PM
  • Lived in Putnam county over 50 years and have always

    thought the political parties push out candidates differently then surrounding counties. Seems like the candidates are not the most qualified people sought by the parties but the most popular with the leaders of the parties. Hopefully the voters can choose the most qualified people to put in open positions even if they need to put them on the ballot after the primary on an independent ticket.

    -- Posted by farmer on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 9:35 PM
  • As some effort to minimize these experiences given election year follies, there resides another word for plantiffs and prosecutors to use - TORTURE. When Defendants declare torture did not occur, each should expect a question, "What do you call electrifying a restrained prisoner - therapy?"

    -- Posted by on Thu, Apr 24, 2014, at 10:16 AM
  • If any of the candidates were qualified to be sheriif, that person would be speaking loudly against torturing Americans. Isn't the collective silence deafening?

    -- Posted by on Fri, Apr 25, 2014, at 10:33 AM
  • Citizens of Putnam County are invited to attend a debate among candidates for the Republican nomination for sheriff of Putnam County on Wednesday, April 30.

    -- Posted by DEPAUW11 on Tue, Apr 29, 2014, at 8:59 AM
  • Did I miss something in regards to the details of this case and each individual incident? I would hope the people that so freely post as if they know the facts of this case and the alleged "TORTURE" never serve on a jury as clearly you have your mind made up before the trial even begins. I do not know the facts of this case but I can easily come to the conclusion that it consist of more than what has been on the news or in the paper.

    -- Posted by beheard04 on Tue, Apr 29, 2014, at 9:55 AM
  • Proverbs 6: 16-19

    -- Posted by DefiantToo on Tue, May 6, 2014, at 7:49 AM
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