DENVER – A former Aurora police officer suspected of providing a woman with methamphetamine and a pipe while working at the Medical Center of Aurora in March has been charged with a felony drug offense, court records and the police chief confirmed Wednesday.
Josiah Coe, 32, faces one count of distributing a Schedule I or II controlled substance, a class 3 drug felony, and one count of official misconduct, a class 2 misdemeanor. Court records show he had a status hearing in court Wednesday morning and had a $5,000 personal recognizance bond set.
According to a probable cause affidavit in support of a search warrant written by a Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent, the charges stem from a March 4 incident a woman recounted to Aurora police in an official complaint on March 31. News of Coe’s charges was first reported by CBS4 and the Sentinel.
The 34-year-old woman told investigators that an officer working at the hospital – later identified by investigators as Coe – had given her about $20 worth of meth, as well as a new pipe, as she left the hospital that day.
In several interviews with Aurora and CBI investigators that followed the initial complaint, the woman, whom Denver7 is not identifying, said she had met Coe in December at the medical center, where she went more than a dozen times over the past few months for substance abuse treatment.
She told investigators that she and Coe had met up seven or eight times over that time period and that they would smoke cigarettes together and talk about her life.
According to the affidavit, the woman had been taken by ambulance to the Medical Center of Aurora early on the morning of March 4 for alcohol withdrawal, she was discharged, went to a nearby detox center, and walked back to the hospital to call a Medicaid Cab to take her back home.
While she was waiting for the cab, her and Coe smoked a cigarette together, during which time Coe told her that she could steal alcohol from a liquor store because “it’s only a ticket” and “you gotta get your fix somehow,” the affidavit says.
Not long afterward, according to the affidavit, the woman saw a security officer at the police desk at the medical center open a cabinet that had a torch inside often used to smoke meth. As she continued to wait for her cab, Coe came from near the police desk with a package wrapped in a blue bandana and handed it to her, the affidavit says.
He told her the package had just been confiscated from someone else and said, “I don’t do this for many people, I only do it for the ones I like,” as well as, “I like you … but you owe me ... but it ain’t nothing bad,” the affidavit states.
When she unwrapped the bandana, she found the bag of meth and pipe inside. She told investigators she took it home and smoked it.
Investigators watched back security video from that day to watch Coe hand her the package and spoke with security officers who were there that day, which corroborated that Coe had received the pipe and drugs from one of the security officers. Aurora investigators found Coe never put the items into police evidence.
In early April, as the investigation continued, CBI took over the investigation after it was determined there was a “high likelihood that a crime was committed,” the affidavit says.
The CBI agent leading the investigation wrote in the affidavit that an Aurora police sergeant who is the president of the police union had spoken with Coe and been told that Coe had been put on administrative leave. According to the affidavit, on April 21, Coe told Sears, “I f---ed up … I gave somebody dope.” The affidavit says the sergeant spoke with APD Chief Vanessa Wilson as well and said Coe “was remorseful and he felt horrible for making the mistake of providing drugs.”
The CBI agent wrote in the affidavit that after that conversation on April 23, he learned Coe had resigned from the department.
Chief Wilson said in a statement Wednesday that the department “will not tolerate anyone who dishonors the badge we wear” and thanked the woman who reported Coe’s behavior.
She said that Coe’s personnel file will show that he would have been fired had he not resigned.
“Even though Officer Coe resigned prior to me being able to take any formal disciplinary action, I have instructed our Internal Affairs Bureau to continue and complete their investigation into these allegations so that it will be documented in his personnel file,” Wilson said in a statement.