updated 7/31/2007 6:43:57 PM ET 2007-07-31T22:43:57

A Georgia sheriff was arrested Tuesday for allegedly lying to state investigators to protect his chief deputy, who was accused of firing shots into the home of his wife’s lover.

Towns County Sheriff Rudy Eller surrendered in neighboring White County, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said he was expected to be released on $250,000 bail.

The GBI says Eller lied to its investigators about a handgun they believe was used in a July 9 drive-by shooting at the home of Gary Dean in Hiawassee. Dean, who was not injured by the gunfire, had been “involved in an ongoing intimate relationship” with the wife of Deputy Eddie Osborn, according to a GBI affidavit.

The affidavit says Eller originally told investigators that he had been keeping the semiautomatic firearm for Osborn for several weeks.

When agents told him they believed the gun was used to fire about 10 shots into Dean’s home, Eller “admitted to the agents that he had not been truthful with them earlier in the interview,” according to the affidavit. The affidavit said Eller told investigators that Osborn gave him the gun the morning of July 9 and admitted firing at Dean’s home.

Eller faces charges of making false statements, tampering with evidence, hindering and obstructing law enforcement officers and violating his oath as a public officer.

Osborn, 41, and Deputy Jessie Gibson, 56, face aggravated assault and obstruction charges in the shooting.

Agents said Osborn denied any knowledge of the shooting but acknowledged he had driven by Dean’s home at least twice on the day before the shooting hoping to fight him if he was alone.

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