Columbus Police Officer Arrested for Trafficking Cocaine

A veteran member of the Columbus Police Department has been indicted on federal cocaine trafficking charges. Officer Larry Lightning, a 23 year veteran of the Columbus Police Department was arrested on Friday.

Officer Larry Lightning walked out of the federal courthouse in handcuffs. This, after the veteran Columbus police officer spent the last 23 years putting the cuffs on suspected criminals.

Lightning faces federal drug and extortion charges.

"These charges are serious, but we haven't had a chance to see anything. We don't know what they've got," said Lightning's attorney, Mark Shelnutt.

Columbus police announced the arrest at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Chief Rick Boren says the investigation stemmed from some drug arrests two years ago, but he wouldn't give any details.

"The Columbus Police Department cannot and will not tolerate officers within this agency to be involved in any criminal activity," said Boren.

Lightning appeared before a judge and pleaded not guilty to all charges. The judge ordered 100,000 dollar bond for Lightning, something prosecutors didn't want.

"He's spent 23 years in the police department, no prior criminal record. So clearly we feel like the judge made the right decision in granting bond. He was certainly eligible under the criteria the law set out," said Shelnutt.

This isn't the first time larry lightning has been arrested. He was accused of stealing merchandise in 2004 from a Columbus convenience store, but he was cleared of those charges.

Chief Boren says Lightning was fired Friday afternoon, and he has turned in his gun and badge.