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Jeffrey Johnston, veteran Littleton cop -- and ecstasy dealer on the side?

Jeffrey Johnston served the Littleton Police Department for 22 years, a span of time that suggests he was viewed as a steady, reliable law enforcer.

The length of Johnston's tenure only makes his recent arrest that much more shocking. Federal authorities took him into custody on suspicion of numerous drug-related crimes in regard to ten grams of ecstasy he was presumably planning to peddle. Details, photos and video below.

On July 15, according to a criminal complaint referenced by the U.S. Attorney's Office, 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," the feds say.

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

As noted by 7News, 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: "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.

The charges against Johnston are equally varied: possession of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of MDMA with intent to distribute (maximum penalty: twenty years in prison and a $1 million fine); maintaining a drug-involved premises (twenty years in prison and a $500,000 fine); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime (five years and a $250,000 fine); and using a telephone to facilitate a drug-trafficking felony (four years in prison and a $500,000 fine).

Yesterday, 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."

Oh, yeah: Johnston has been placed on administrative leave at the department -- which is the least of his problems right now.

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Look below to see the 7News report.

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

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