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Sheriff under investigation after allegedly threatening church youth group and leader

Craig Rowland
Posted at 9:16 AM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 11:16:58-05

BLACKFOOT, Idaho — This article was written by Eric Grossarth of East Idaho News.

The Idaho Attorney General’s Office is investigating Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland after he allegedly threatened a group of girls and a woman outside of his home last week.

Rowland has now taken a leave of absence from his position, according to the Bingham County Prosecutor’s Office.

The incident unfolded on Nov. 9 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Young Women’s group and their adult leader left Thanksgiving thank-you notes at the homes of members in their congregation. Sometime around 7:30 p.m., the girls went to Rowland’s home and dropped off a note.

Shortly after the girls left the note, multiple sources tell EastIdahoNews.com Rowland came out of his house with a gun. The sheriff was reportedly yelling and made his way over to the car with the girls and their leader. He then allegedly pulled the woman out of the vehicle and made further threats, according to sources close to the investigation.

The woman and girls were eventually able to drive away and a 911 call was made to Bingham County Dispatch about the incident. A Blackfoot Police detective took a report.

Blackfoot Police referred EastIdahoNews.com to the Idaho Attorney General’s Office Monday after we requested the report.

The Attorney General’s Office denied EastIdahoNews.com’s request for records.

“It is denied to the extent that responsive materials are part of an active investigation and, as such, are exempt from disclosure under Idaho Code 74-105(1),” a letter from the Attorney General’s Office reads.

EastIdahoNews.com learned an investigator with the AG’s Office has been in Bingham County.

It’s unclear why Rowland allegedly lashed out at the group, but as of Monday, no criminal charges have been filed against him.

“I have no comments,” Rowland responded when contacted by EastIdahoNews.com.

Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Rogers issued a news release Monday about the alleged incident.

“In order to protect the integrity of the investigation and to avoid undue intrusion into the private lives of the persons involved, Bingham County is unable to comment further regarding the subject of the investigation at this time,” Rogers said.

Rowland has been the sheriff of Bingham County since being elected in 2012. He was re-elected in November 2020 for his third term.