Judge releases Littleton officer on bond

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Littleton Police Officer Jeffery Johnston, who is facing serious drug charges, was released from federal custody on his promise to return to court.

Johnston, 46, appeared in federal court in Denver July 25 wearing handcuffs and green prison attire. Next to him was his new attorney, Pamela Mackey, who defended Kobe Bryant against sexual-assault charges. She also represented hockey player Patrick Roy in a domestic-violence case, and convicted sex offender Vincent Margera, aka Don Vito of “Jackass” fame.

Johnston waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and federal prosecutors withdrew their motion to keep him detained while the case makes its way through court.

Johnston signed a $100,000 unsecured bond, which he only has to pay should he fail to make any scheduled court appearances.

U.S. Magistrate Kristen L. Mix also ordered him to home detention and GPS monitoring. His house has no landline, so it can’t accommodate the GPS until phone service is installed in the next few days, but Mix said Johnston could return home in the meantime.

She told him to stay away from guns and drugs, and to undergo mental-health and substance-abuse evaluations and get treatment should it be deemed appropriate. He has to give up his passport, have no contact with potential victims or witnesses in his case and report any contact with law enforcement.

Mix also ordered him to keep or seek employment. LPD Cmdr. Trent Cooper said Johnston remains on unpaid administrative leave and has no police powers at this time.

The 22-year Littleton Police veteran was arrested by the FBI at his Parker home on July 19 after he allegedly paid an informant $1,300 for 37 ecstasy pills and six grams of the drug in powder form.

Authorities say a search of Johnston’s home produced a Colt Officers Model .45-caliber pistol loaded with seven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, suspected cocaine, suspected steroids, hundreds of suspected prescription pills, additional firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, empty pill pouches, a drug test kit and a scale.

Johnston faces one count of possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute, which carries a penalty of not more than 20 years in federal prison and a fine of not more than $1 million; one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises, which carries a penalty of not more than 20 years in federal prison and a fine of not more than $500,000; one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, which carries a penalty of not less than five years and not more than life in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000; and one count of using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking felony, which carries a penalty of not more than four years in federal prison and up to a $500,000 fine.

The judge set status hearings on the case for Aug. 8 and Aug. 12.

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