New search warrants filed in case against Kosciusko County sheriff
Indiana State Police have filed another search warrant request related to the investigation into Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine.
The search warrant, filed March 8, requests the hard drives and all storage media related to the video recording system at the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department, which records three interview rooms and the breath test room.
Rovenstine was indicted on charges of bribery, intimidation and official misconduct related to his position as sheriff of Kosciusko County at the end of February.
He allegedly accepted money for not recording phone calls and visits between a Mark Soto and inmate Kevin Bronson at the Kosciusko County jail.
He is also accused of intimidating Warsaw Police Officer Paul Heaton, who began working on an investigation into the meetings between Bronson and Soto in early 2015.
During the investigation into the meetings between Bronson and Soto, Warsaw Police asked the sheriff to stop allowing unrecorded contact between Soto and Bronson.
He was first asked on March 20, 2015.
When the sheriff was asked again, on July 2, 2015, the conversation between Heaton, Rovenstine and Scott Whitaker was recorded.
After Whitaker left, Rovenstine said to Heaton, "It almost sounded to me like Scott (Whitaker) was almost inferring I’m dirty. Well…you know…I could go into ‘you’re a drug investigator’…you do things with informants that are convicted felons. I mean, I could paint a story like you’re some crook because you’re dealing with these informants that are…you know…they are accused of doing ‘this.’"
The unrecorded contact between Bronson and Soto continued, according to the investigator.
On August 4, 2015, Whitaker entered the jail and took a photograph of an unrecorded meeting between Bronson and Soto. After that, Heaton was not allowed in the jail, the affidavit states.
On August 14, Heaton recorded a conversation with Rovenstine about his being denied entry to the jail.
Rovenstine: Paul, listen I don't wanna start world war three because everybody's gonna lose. I guarantee ya, you think you hold everything, you don't. This will be ugly. It'll be real ugly so I wanna cooperate, I don't want any trouble. I really don't.
Heaton: What would be ugly?
Rovenstine: "let me assure you we invest…we can investigate things. I am a police officer, I am the sheriff, I have investigators too."
Heaton asked the sheriff what he was insinuating and the sheriff replied, "I'm not insinuating anything, I'm stating a fact."
By mid-September 2015, the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department was investigating Heaton, allegedly for having sexual relations with two informants.
An interview with one of the informants was provided to the ISP, but it was missing 2 and a half minutes of the interview.
One of the informants was given two polygraph examinations regarding the sexual relationship with Heaton, but the video of the interview where she failed the polygraph was not provided.
The other informant who allegedly had sexual relations with Heaton told an investigator she had been interviewed or drilled almost every day regarding Heaton, but only one interview was included to investigators.
After the indictment against Rovenstine was handed up, the IT administrator at the sheriff's department told ISP investigators the original interview with the informant, which was missing two and a half minutes of the interview, had been deleted from the system.
In addition, all interviews between October 8 and December 8 were no longer in the system.
The ISP investigator stated the sheriff's department "has shown a pattern to delete or not include information that is inconsistent with the narrative they are trying to prove."