JONESVILLE — What began as an investigation into a family dispute escalated into the filing of eight felony drug and theft-related charges against a Jonesville man, whose home contained thousands of illegal pills and multiple weapons including a sawed-off shotgun.
Kevin Hiten, 49, was arrested early Monday evening after police found a stolen vehicle outside his home at 309 S. Jackson St. in Jonesville, as well as a variety of illegal drugs inside the house.
After Indiana State Police Trooper Chris Lockman arrived in the southern Bartholomew County town shortly before 5:30 p.m., he located the purported victim, waiting in a nearby field.
After the woman described what a police report called an earlier domestic disturbance, Lockman called for backup from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department before proceeding to the couple’s residence. When Deputy Jimmy Green arrived, the trooper already was talking with Kevin Hiten outside his home.
Based on Lockman’s suspicions, a computer check was made on a white 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche parked in Hiten’s driveway that confirmed the sport utility truck had been stolen in Columbus. Nevertheless, Hiten said he owned the vehicle, claiming the title was inside his house.
After the two officers accompanied the suspect inside to find the paperwork, Lockman spotted what he believed to be marijuana, a scale, and packets of pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter stimulant and decongestant illegally used in manufacturing methamphetamine.
After detaining Hiten, the officers obtained a warrant to search the entire residence. The search uncovered numerous firearms including a sawed-off shotgun, as well as a large amount of U.S. currency, according to police reports.
Drug-related items found in the residence included marijuana, methamphetamine, thousands of pseudoephedrine pills, drug precursors and numerous articles of drug paraphernalia.
Hiten originally was booked into the Bartholomew County jail only in connection with the stolen vehicle. But on Wednesday, nine formal charges were filed against the Jonesville
- Possession of methamphetamine with a firearm — Class C felony.
- Possession of a controlled substance with a firearm— Class C felony.
- Possession of more than 10 grams of pseudoephedrine with a firearm — Class C felony.
- Possession of two or more methamphetamine precursors with a firearm — Class C felony.
- Possession of marijuana — Class D felony.
- Maintaining a common nuisance — Class D felony.
- Possession of a sawed off shotgun — Class D felony.
- Possession of a stolen vehicle — Class D felony.
- Possession of paraphernalia — Class A misdemeanor.
Each of the Class C felonies carries a penalty of two to eight years in prison. The potential sentence for a Class D felony is six months to three years. Both types of felonies could also include up to a $10,000 fine.
Police said as the investigation continues, more charges could be filed.
Bond was set at $25,000. Hiten was freed after paying a $2,505 surety bond, according to jail officials.