POLK COUNTY, Iowa- A former Altoona Police detective was arrested Monday, and charged with multiple felonies. Thirty-nine-year-old Joshua Copeland is charged with two counts of Felony Forgery, two counts of Felonious Misconduct in Office, and one count of Possession of Methamphetamine.
Copeland was taken to the Polk County Jail last night and has bonded out of jail. Copeland began working for the Altoona Police Department in 2009, and resigned from the department in April. In January, Altoona Police asked the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to look into drug evidence tampering allegations in their department.
Authorities say methamphetamine was found in a city police vehicle, issued to Detective Copeland. The crime lab determined handwriting on forged evidence packaging was made by Copeland. The results of the investigation were turned over to the Polk County Attorney's office, resulting in charges filed against Copeland.
Criminal complaints, obtained by Channel 13 WHO-TV claim Copeland switched over-the-counter medicine for prescription pills that were seized as part of a criminal investigation. The drugs were being held in a temporary evidence locker. The complaint says Copeland removed the original evidence packaging and forged new evidence packaging. He is accused of doing this twice, in January of 2017 and December of 2017.
The complaint also states Copeland voluntarily submitted a sample of his blood, which tested positive for methamphetamine.