Trial delayed for former drug officer

The jury trial has been delayed for a former Columbus Police Department narcotics division supervisor accused of obtaining narcotics out of the department’s evidence room for personal use.

The trial for Jeremy R. Coomes, 38, of Columbus, has been reset for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 15, according to Bartholomew Circuit Court records. The continuance was requested by Coomes’ attorneys, court records state. The jury trial had been scheduled for Sept. 6.

Coomes is accused in Bartholomew Circuit Court of 10 criminal counts related to possession of drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana, plus theft and misconduct. Charges were filed by special prosecutor Cynthia Crispin of Connersville.

Information contained in the probable-cause affidavit said Coomes checked out drug evidence in as many as 10 cases from the Columbus Police Department’s property room.

But when the evidence was returned, some of it was missing; some of it had been replaced with other substances; and evidence packet seals had been tampered with or altered on other evidence, court documents state. The evidence is connected to cases dating back to 2009, including items seized by Coomes and other Columbus officers.

Coomes joined the Columbus Police Department in January 2005 and began working undercover in 2009, court documents state. He had been the narcotics unit supervisor since December 2011.

Court documents state Coomes is charged with:

Two counts of felony methamphetamine possession

Felony cocaine possession

Felony possession of a narcotic drug

Felony official misconduct

One count of felony theft and two counts of misdemeanor theft

Misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance

Misdemeanor possession of marijuana

Penalties for the felony charges range up to 31 years in prison, and for the misdemeanors up to 3½ years in prison. Total fines for the felony and misdemeanor charges could range up to $76,000.

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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.