former littleton police officer sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for firearm and drug trafficking
DENVER – Jeffery Allan Johnston, age 46, of Parker, Colorado, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to serve 48 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for firearm and drug trafficking crimes, United States Attorney John Walsh and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced. Judge Brimmer also ordered a preliminary order of $25,000 in asset forfeiture in lieu of forfeiture of his residence, which was used to facilitate his criminal conduct. That money will be paid into the federal asset forfeiture fund. At the conclusion of the hearing Judge Brimmer ordered Johnston be remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
Johnston was first arrested based on a Criminal Complaint issued on July 19, 2013. He then waived his Constitutional right to indictment, and was charged by Information on August 15, 2013. He pled guilty before Judge Brimmer on October 28, 2013. He was sentenced yesterday, February 3, 2014.
According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, as well as other court documents, in April 2012, a source told law enforcement that he (the source) attended a party at Johnston’s home. While at the party, the source claims he observed behavior consistent with the use of illegal drugs. On July 16, 2013, a source received a message from Johnston. In cooperation with the FBI, the source returned Johnston’s call and had a coded conversation about providing Johnston with MDMA. On July 19, 2013, the source, working with the FBI, traveled to Johnston’s residence. Through monitored and recorded calls before the meeting, the source had agreed to deliver 75 MDMA pills to Johnston. The source and Johnston then met at Johnston’s residence. The exchange of money and MDMA took place in the kitchen of the residence. Johnston received approximately 9.9 grams of MDMA, in the form of 37 pills and 6.3 grams of powder MDMA. Johnston paid the source $1,300 for the drugs. Following the transaction, Johnston was taken into custody and a federal search warrant was executed at the residence.
During the search agents found the MDMA used during the controlled exchange in a kitchen drawer. They also found a stainless steel Colt Officers Model .45 caliber pistol located in a small black bag, loaded with seven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber located above the kitchen drawer that contained the drugs. Investigators eventually located a small amount of cocaine, steroids, hundreds of prescription pills, additional firearms, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the residence. They also found 8 other firearms, including an AR-15 and two 12 gauge shotguns. At all pertinent times, the defendant was employed as a sworn police officer.
“As a police officer who violated the public’s trust, a four year federal prison sentence is just and appropriate given the circumstances,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The fact that Johnston was involved in trafficking illegal drugs while also serving as a law enforcement officer is particularly disturbing.”
“Yesterday’s sentencing illustrates that public servants are not above the law and must be held accountable for failing to uphold their oath to maintain the public’s trust,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle.
"Jeff was a good officer who dedicated twenty years to the Littleton community,” said Littleton Police Department Chief Doug Stephens. “His private life choices have cost him greatly and should serve as an example of how drugs ruin lives."
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) who traced the firearms.
Johnston was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Guy Till and David Conner with assistance regarding the asset forfeiture from Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Andrews.