Former city officer arrested

A former Columbus police officer was arrested on misconduct and numerous drug-related charges related to his time supervising the department’s narcotics division, which consists of officers who work undercover.

Jeremy R. Coomes, 38, of Columbus, who resigned from the Columbus Police Department in October 2015, was arrested at his home Wednesday afternoon and booked into the Bartholomew County Jail, Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said.

Coomes was charged in Bartholomew Circuit Court with:

Possession of methamphetamine, Level 6 felony

Possession of cocaine, Level 6 felony

Possession of a narcotic drug, Level 6 felony

Theft, Class A misdemeanor (2 counts)

Theft, Level 5 felony

Possession of a controlled substance, Class A misdemeanor

Possession of marijuana, Class B misdemeanor

Official misconduct, Level 6 felony

Wheeles said the investigation began when the Columbus Police Department contacted the Indiana State Police in October 2015 about missing evidence from the department’s evidence room.

Columbus police had discovered discrepancies when conducting an annual evidence audit in the evidence storage room, Wheeles said. Information from an internal investigation done by the Columbus Police Department led to the state police being contacted to investigate, Wheeles said.

Indiana State Police Detective Joe Loyd, Versailles Post, was assigned to conduct the investigation.

Loyd learned that Coomes became a Columbus Police Officer in 2005 and supervised the Columbus Police Department’s Narcotics Unit from December 2011 until October 2015, Wheeles said.

During the time that he was the narcotics supervisor, Coomes is accused of removing various kinds of drugs from the Columbus Police Department’s evidence room, Wheeles said.

Coomes allegedly never returned some of those evidence items, and in some cases, returned items different from the evidence he originally signed out, Wheeles said.

Coomes is accused of possessing the illegal drugs outside of the scope of his official job responsibilities, Wheeles said.

At the conclusion of the investigation, Loyd submitted the investigation to a special prosecutor assigned to the case. The special prosecutor was not identified in the state police press release about the case.

In a written statement to media, Columbus Police Chief Jon Rohde said the incident was not reflective of the hard-working men and women of the Columbus Police Department who serve the community with the integrity that is expected of law enforcement professionals.

“Police officers must be accountable for their actions and conduct both on and off the job,” Rohde said. “They are expected to adhere to the oath they take and a code of ethics that holds them to the highest of standards. You can be confident that the officers on the Columbus Police Department will be held to these high standards and the responsibilities of the position in which they are entrusted.”

Coomes was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his Columbus address, Wheeles said.

Coomes was transported to the Bartholomew County Jail, where he immediately bonded out after posting 10 percent of his $75,000 bond, jail officials said.

No information was available Wednesday night as to when Coomes will appear for an initial hearing in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.