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Investigation Of Reynoldsburg Detective Puts Past Drug Cases In Jeopardy

When asked if people serving time for convictions related to drugs and Detective Downard would be let out of jail in some cases, O’Brien said, “I think that’s true. Yes.”
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Prior to an FBI investigation just 4-months ago and Tye Downard’s arrest just 5 days ago, the 20-year veteran Reynoldsburg police detective appeared to be a respected member of the Reynoldsburg Police Department’s DEA task force and SWAT team.

In 2006, Reynoldsburg’s city council presented Downard with a distinguished service award. Downard received the award for officer of the year in both 2007 and 2014, when Reynoldsburg’s police chief noted that Downard, “…worked countless hours with the Franklin County/DEA drug task force…” and “…produced seizures of over $639,497.00 in drug money…” and “…countless pounds of illegal narcotics.”

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Downard had a hand in roughly 50-cases.

When asked if people serving time for convictions related to drugs and Detective Downard would be let out of jail in some cases, O’Brien said, “I think that’s true. Yes.”

Because Federal Agents accused Downard of stealing narcotics and other drugs obtained in seizures and selling them, many of Downard’s cases are now being reviewed.

O’Brien says 35 of them are closed but 15 are pending.

“In some instances I think some people will avoid prosecution because of the misconduct of the investigating officer,” O’Brien said.

In one instance, a man named Mark A. Smith was accused of cocaine and heroin possession. Because Downard was 1 of 8 witnesses to be called, Smith’s case was terminated and he was released from custody.

Downard had been awaiting his first court appearance behind bars in the Delaware County Jail but he was found dead early Monday morning.

Two other Reynoldsburg police officers were placed on administrative leave in connection with the investigation. One is a Lieutenant and 19-year veteran of the force, the other has been an officer for 9-years.