Now, Johnston has been given a four-year sentence for his extracurricular activities, which derailed a promising law-enforcement career according to his former boss.
Continue for all the details, including 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.
In October, Johnston entered a guilty plea and was immediately remanded to custody -- time that presumably will be deducted from his sentence. In addition to 48 months in federal prison, he'll have to serve three years of probation upon his release.
Afterward, Chief Stephens issued the following statement: "Jeff was a good officer who dedicated twenty years to the Littleton community. His private life choices have cost him greatly and should serve as an example of how drugs ruin lives."
Given the widespread derision aimed at the War on Drugs these days, such statements can be controversial. But there's no denying that Johnston's current situation isn't exactly an improvement over his previous one.
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.'"