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Drug-related charges filed against former Ogden police officer

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OGDEN — A former Ogden police officer once assigned to drug investigations has been charged with distributing drugs himself.

Don Henry Johnson, 29, was charged Friday in 2nd District Court with two counts of distribution or arranging to distribute drugs, a second-degree felony.

Johnson, a former member of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, arranged for at least two other people to buy oxycodone pills for him from a certain male on at least two different occasions, according to charging documents. One woman said she was asked by Johnson to pick up pills for him in May and July of 2014, and was promised to be paid but never was.

Another man told investigators he was asked by Johnson to arrange the illegal drug sales, the charges state.

Investigators said phone records from Johnson and the two witnesses "confirm a number of communications between these individuals during the times described by the witnesses," according to the charges.

In October, Ogden police received a complaint about Johnson that the person believed was criminal in nature. They turned the case over to Layton police to avoid a conflict of interest, said Ogden Assistant Police Chief Wayne Tarwater.

Johnson was placed on extended leave but resigned from the department on Jan. 15, about the time that the investigation was completed.

"The fact that he resigned under duress, so to speak, is noted and sent to Utah POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training),” Tarwater said.

“Law enforcement, like any other organization, has individuals that from time to time get caught up in things that they shouldn’t and … the fact that he was a police officer, he is held to a higher standard, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. But the reality is that there are individuals that are going to lose their way. And we just have to deal with it and move on,” he said.

The charges were filed by the Davis County Attorney's Office. Johnson was not arrested but was ordered to appear before a judge. An initial court appearance had not been set as of Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson had worked for the Ogden Police Department since August of 2008.

Pat Reavy

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