A former North Vernon police officer has been arrested after an Indiana State Police investigation concluded that she took evidence from the North Vernon Police Department evidence room.
Brandy Blevins, 43, of North Vernon, who was a detective for the North Vernon Police Department, was arrested Monday afternoon on a warrant for official misconduct and forgery, police said.
Blevins faces those Level 6 felony charges along with a Class A misdemeanor count of theft.
North Vernon Police Chief James D. Webster said Blevins, who resigned Feb. 25, was a detective from June 2013 to December 2015, which gave her access to the property room.
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The State Police began its investigation Feb. 22 at the request of the North Vernon Police Department, which discovered evidence irregularities during a routine audit, according to a State Police media release.
North Vernon’s audit had found that some evidence did not appear to be properly stored and other items appeared to be tampered with, Webster said. At that point, the property room was sealed, and the State Police was contacted, Webster said.
During the subsequent State Police investigation, detectives determined Blevins, while working as a detective, stole numerous items of evidence from the department’s evidence room, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.
Investigators did not identify the type of evidence that was missing or tampered with.
Webster said no other detectives, past or present, were implicated during the investigation, and the property room has been unsealed.
Wheeles also said Blevins altered medical records from Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and submitted those to the North Vernon Police Department during an internal investigation being conducted in December 2015.
Blevins had failed a drug test ordered by the North Vernon Police Department in December, according to a probable-cause affidavit in the case. Afterward, Blevins claimed the medication that showed up on the drug test was prescribed when it was not, leading to the forgery charges, Wheeles said.
Blevins was booked into the Jennings County Jail at 2:26 p.m. Monday.
The Blevins case in the second one in the region involving a local police officer and missing evidence.
Jeremy Coomes, 38, a former Columbus Police Department narcotics division supervisor, faces a Nov. 15 jury trial in Bartholomew Circuit Court. Coomes has been accused of obtaining narcotics out of the Columbus Police Department’s evidence room for personal use.
A special prosecutor filed charges involving 10 criminal counts against Coomes related to possession of drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana, plus theft and misconduct.
Coomes resigned from the police department in October after an internal audit revealed narcotic drugs he checked out from an evidence room were not returned within the required 24-hour period set by the department. A police department internal investigation began Oct. 12, after which the Indiana State Police Versailles post was asked to investigate.
Coomes, of Columbus, was arrested March 30, and was released from the Bartholomew County Jail that same day in lieu of $75,000 bond, jail records show.
The Tribune of Seymour contributed to this report.