Criminal Complaint: Ex-Altoona Cop Stole Pills from Evidence, Tested Positive for Meth

Joshua Copeland (WHO-HD)

ALTOONA, Iowa – A former Altoona police officer who resigned in April has been charged with four felonies.

Thirty-nine-year-old Joshua Copeland is charged with two counts of felonious misconduct in office, two counts of forgery, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

Copeland was booked into the Polk County Jail Monday night and released after posting bond.

Criminal complaints in the case 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 alleged to have done this in two cases, one in January of 2017 and one in December of 2017.

The complaint also says in March of 2018, a small amount of meth was found in an Altoona police vehicle issued to Copeland. He voluntarily submitted a sample of his blood, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The Altoona Police Department says Copeland began working for the department in January of 2009 and resigned on April 20, 2018. The personal record regarding discipline signed by Copeland at the time stated he was resigning in lieu of termination.

At the time he resigned, Copland was earning $32.34 per hour.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation into the case after being notified by Atloona Police in January of 2017.

Read the criminal complaints: