2015-03-17 / Front Page

Former Deputy Sheriff Facing Charges Of Misconduct, Theft

Staff Report

Joseph R. Hinton Joseph R. Hinton A former Owen County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputy has been arrested and charged with misconduct and theft.

According to information released Saturday through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement, Joseph R. Hinton turned himself in to the OCSD in response to an arrest warrant issued the previous day by the Owen Circuit Court. As a result of an investigation conducted by Indiana Conservation Officers, Hinton is facing one count of official misconduct (level 6 felony), and one count of theft (class A misdemeanor). Hinton was allowed to post 10 percent of the $7,500 bond and was released.

The alleged misconduct and theft dates back to September 11, 2014 when a northern Owen County landowner confronted a man on his property believed to be stealing ginseng. Deputy Hinton was dispatched to the area and located the man, seizing a sizeable quantity of ginseng from the suspect.

According to the complainant Deputy Hinton told them that the ginseng would be turned over to Indiana conservation officers for investigation. Approximately two weeks later, the complainant contacted Indiana conservation officers to check on the status of the case. A lengthy investigation by ICO Detective Trent Stinson revealed Deputy Hinton had not initiated law enforcement action against the suspect, but rather kept the ginseng and later sold it to a certified buyer for $336.

Special Prosecutor Robert Cline of Morgan County has been appointed to handle the case.

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