DELAWARE, Ohio – A veteran police detective and former SWAT officer charged last week with using his connections to allegedly deal drugs has taken his own life.
Reynoldsburg Police have confirmed to 10TV officer Tye Downard, 43, committed suicide by hanging at the Delaware County Jail early Monday morning.
Correctional officers found Downard hanging from his single-person jail cell at 1:30 a.m. during hourly inmate checks. Officers and medical staff unsuccessfully tried to revive him until medics arrived and took him to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Downard was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. The incident remains under investigation.
This comes just days after the U.S. Attorney’s office said Downard allegedly made more than 20 deliveries of narcotics between October 2015 and February 2016, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Percocet pills.
It is alleged that, on 21 occasions between October 2015 and February 2016, Downard delivered drugs to an individual to sell. The complaint further alleges that Downard seized blue-and-white Percocet pills during a search warrant and provided blue-and-white pills to someone to sell two days later.
Downard was also involved in a search warrant that yielded several green glass canning-style jars containing harvested marijuana buds. The next day, Downard allegedly provided his contact with the four green glass jars containing harvested marijuana.
He was facing to up 20 years in prison.
Downard worked for Reynoldsburg Police for more than 20 years and was a veteran member of the DEA Task force.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien has requested the dismissal of the drug case where drugs were seized by Downard following his death.
Prosecutor O’Brien requested dismissal of the charges in the interest of assuring the integrity of the investigation and prosecution.
Meanwhile, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said last week nearly 50 cases connected to Downard will be reviewed in the wake of his arrest.
Two other Reynoldsburg officers who worked closely with Downard have been placed on temporary administrative leave. However they have not been charged in the case.