AURORA | Arapahoe County prosecutors have filed a felony drug charge against a former Aurora police officer suspected of giving a woman methamphetamine while working off-duty at the Medical Center of Aurora earlier this year.
Authorities on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Josiah Coe, 32, on the charges of distributing a schedule two controlled substance and official misconduct, according to state court records. The former is a class three dug felony, and the latter is a class two misdemeanor.
As first reported by Brian Maas with CBS4 in Denver, the charges against Coe stem from a citizen complaint lodged with the Aurora Police Department on March 31, a spokesperson for the department confirmed Wednesday.
An arrest affidavit filed against Coe revealed that a 34-year-old woman told officers that Coe provided her with about $20 worth of methamphetamine and a pipe to smoke it as she was getting in a cab outside of the Medical Center of Aurora on South Potomac Street the morning of March 4.
The woman told investigators in a series of interviews that she first met Coe at the hospital in December 2020 while she was getting treatment for problems related to substance abuse. She said she was a heavy drinker and user of methamphetamine and had been treated at local hospitals for issues related to her drug use about 15 times in recent months.
When at the Medical Center of Aurora, the woman told authorities that she would smoke cigarettes with Coe, who frequently worked off-duty at the hospital. She would talk with him about “everything,” according to the arrest document. On March 4, the two talked about how the woman watched pornography on a Chromecast device while prostituting herself to obtain money to buy methamphetamine.
While she was getting in a cab to take her home from the hospital, the woman told police that Coe gave her methamphetamine and a pipe wrapped in a blue bandana, telling her: “I don’t do this for many people, I only do it for the ones I like … I like you … but you owe me,” according to the affidavit. The woman also told police that Coe suggested she steal alcohol from a local liquor store in order to get her “fix,” as the penalty for such action was “only a ticket.”
Investigators later corroborated the woman’s account by using surveillance camera footage and interviewing security guards who were working with Coe at the hospital.
One guard told police that as part of standard protocol, he would search patients suspected of being on drugs and turn over any substances or paraphernalia to Coe or other officers working at the hospital.
A transfer of custody form later showed that the guard on March 4 provided Coe with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia that he had just taken from a hospital patient.
Coe signed the form but never entered any illicit substances into police evidence, authorities later confirmed by reviewing the documents.
Because the woman’s complaint involved suspected criminal behavior, police officials handed the ensuing investigation of the incident to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Coe resigned from the department on April 22, police confirmed. It’s unclear when he first joined Aurora police as an officer.
He later told the head of the local police union: “I f***ed up … I gave somebody dope,” according to the arrest document. The union representative then briefed Chief Vanessa Wilson on Coe’s comments, saying Coe “was remorseful and he felt horrible for making the mistake of providing drugs,” according to the affidavit.
In a statement issued on Twitter Wednesday, Wilson commended the woman who reported the incident to police.
“I want to assure the public that we will not tolerate anyone who dishonors the badge we wear,” she wrote. “I want to thank the person who came forward for having the bravery to report this misconduct.”
Even though Coe has since resigned, Wilson said an internal affairs investigation into the incident will still be completed. She clarified that Coe would have been fired had he not resigned.
The warrant for Coe’s arrest remained open as of Wednesday morning, indicating he has yet to be apprehended, court records show. If he is taken into custody, he will have to post a $5,000 cash or surety bond before he is released, per the current stipulations issued by the court.
Coe had not been charged with a criminal offense in Colorado prior to the allegations levied Monday, records indicate.
The drug felony currently filed against Coe carries a presumptive sentence of up to four years in prison and $50,000 in fines.