WINAMAC, Ind. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a former northern Indiana sheriff and a former deputy on charges of stealing handguns.
Former Pulaski Sheriff Michael Gayer is charged with two counts of stealing handguns, two counts of official misconduct and obstruction of justice. Gayer left office in 2014. Former Chief Deputy Ronnie Patrick is charged with four counts of stealing handguns, four counts of official misconduct and obstruction of justice.
Gayer’s attorney, Brian Cook, said his client is not guilty. A message seeking comment was left for Patrick’s attorney. Each man was released from custody Wednesday on $1,500 bond.
State police say the men were indicted following a yearlong investigation in which the State Board of Accounts demanded Gayer repay $20,632 in missing firearms and ammunition.
No hearing date has been set.
Indiana State Police released the following information about the case on Wednesday, Aug. 10:
Winamac, Pulaski County — Following a 12 month investigation by the Indiana State Police, former Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer and former Pulaski County Chief Deputy Ron Patrick were indicted by a Grand Jury on August 9, 2016 for criminal acts alleged to have occurred when both men were members of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.
In August of 2015 the Indiana State Police were contacted by Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine to investigate allegations of criminal acts by former members of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. Indiana State Police Detective Mike Bailey was assigned the investigation and over the course of nearly a year information was developed that indicated criminal acts likely occurred.
As a result of the investigation the Pulaski County Prosecutor recommended appointment of a Special Prosecutor and the completed investigation was referred to the Marshall County Prosecutor. After reviewing the investigation the Marshall County Prosecutor recommended the evidence be reviewed by a Grand Jury.
A Grand Jury was convened and returned indictments for all alleged counts against Gayer and Patrick. Gayer has been charged with six felonies and one misdemeanor: Two counts of Theft, one count each of Obstruction of Justice and Deception, and three counts of Official Misconduct.
Patrick has been charged with nine felonies and two misdemeanors: Five counts of Theft, one count each of Obstruction of Justice and Deception, and four counts of Official Misconduct. Gayer turned himself in to the Pulaski County Jail on August 9, 2016 and was subsequently processed, then posted bond and was released from jail pending his trial.
On August 10, 2016 Patrick turned himself in to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department for processing. As of this time of this release, bond information was not available for Patrick.