| Crime |

Jeffrey Johnston, ex-cop, pleads guilty to distributing ecstasy

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

In July, we published an item headlined "Jeffrey Johnston, veteran Littleton cop -- and ecstasy dealer on the side?"

The answer to that question is "yes." And the person confirming it is Johnston himself.

The now-former officer has pleaded guilty to two charges in relation to his bust earlier this year. Here's the story, complete with photos and video.

On July 15, as we've reported, Johnston was contacted by a friend described as a "known narcotics trafficker." The pal had previously been invited to the officer's Parker home to "distribute narcotics to guests at parties Johnston hosts," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which prosecuted the case.

The drug in question? Methylenedioxy methamphetamine, also known as MDMA and ecstasy.

The criminal complaint maintains that Johnston arranged for the purchase of forty or fifty MDMA pills at $15-$20 a crack -- but not by name. Instead, he referred to them as "CDs."

An example of Johnston's dialogue, as originally shared by 7News: "You know some of, some of my friends that wanna, uh, listen to that music, too."

The officer allegedly added the following complaint about the quality of the ecstasy available of late: "There's been some other stuff running around that we've had access [to], and it's just yucky..... It's missing a bunch of stuff. Uh, it's missing the 'M' in it."

As you English majors realize, there's no "M" in "CDs." But there are a couple of them in "MDMA."

Cut to July 19, when the informant, under FBI supervision, delivered 37 ecstasy pills and 6.3 grams of MDMA powder to Johnston's Parker pad. The officer reportedly paid $1,300 for this bonanza -- and was promptly arrested.

Shortly thereafter, a search warrant was executed, and among the items the feds are said to have found were a loaded, stainless-steel Colt Officers Model .45 caliber pistol, other assorted firearms and accompanying ammo, suspected cocaine and steroids, hundreds of prescription pills, empty pill pouches, a scale, and a drug-test kit of the sort he'd hinted at during his "CDs" palaver.

As Johnston was making his first court appearance, the Littleton Police Department reacted, with Chief of Police Doug Stephens releasing a statement attempting to distance the LPD from his disgraced officer's actions. It reads:

"Officer Johnston's alleged misconduct occurred in his private life and does not reflect on the professional reputation and outstanding service of the men and women of the Littleton Police Department. Police officers are human, and just like all people, sometimes they make bad decisions. This situation illustrates for all of us what a devastating impact drugs can have on one's life."

Johnston was charged with possession of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of MDMA with intent to distribute, maintaining a drug-involved premises, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and using a telephone to facilitate a drug-trafficking felony.

That's quite a list, and the varied allegations no doubt helped inspire his guilty plea to a pair of counts: being a prohibited person in possession of firearms and possession with intent to distribute MDMA. In addition, he admitted to the forfeiture allegation contained in the court documents filed against him.

Possible penalties against Johnston include as much as ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for the firearms beef and a maximum of twenty years behind bars and a $1,000,000 fine for the drug charge. He won't be sentenced until February, but after entering his guilty plea earlier this week, he was immediately remanded to custody.

Bet that didn't make him too ecstatic. Look below to see the 7News report broadcast around the time of Johnston's original arrest.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa June 2011: "Robert McIntosh wins $20,000 settlement after arrest for calling Boulder deputy a 'f*cking ass.'"

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.