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Former Denver Police Lieutenant Accused Of Illegal Drug Use, Sex On Duty

By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4)- A Denver police lieutenant, placed on leave last month, has retired and is now being accused of leaving his job to have sex on duty, and regular use of illegal drugs.

The accusations against former Denver Police Lt. Philip Epple come from an affidavit related to a search executed at his Denver home.

DENVER PD LT ON LEAVE 6VO.transfer_frame_0
(credit: CBS)

Fellow officers searched Epple's home in early March. According to police documents obtained by CBS4, they found illegal narcotics and steroids.

Epple's attorney, Lara Marks Baker, declined to comment on the new information.

A man by the name of Matthew Otto contacted Denver police and said he met Epple and Epple's "husband" via a social app called "Grindr," according to the affidavit.

Otto said he moved into Epple's home in February and said that all three men used cocaine and ecstasy.

Lt. Philip Epple (credit Denver Police)

According to the affidavit, "Otto stated that there were numerous times, at the beginning of the relationship, in which Epple would return to the residence while he was 'on duty' to have sex with Otto. Otto explained one occasion when Epple returned, got out of his uniform, got in the hot tub, and then redressed in his uniform and returned to work. Otto explained that, regardless of why Epple returned to the residence, when he was on duty, he would keep his 'walkie talkie' with him 'in case he got called.'"

The witness goes on to detail alleged cocaine, ectasy and steroid use by Epple .

"Otto explained that whenever he was using the illegal narcotics in Epple's presence, Epple also ingested the illegal narcotics. Otto explained that Epple would 'shoot up' in various places, to include the legs and triceps."

To date, Epple has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

In his retirement letter dated April 2, Epple wrote, "It has been a pleasure being of service to the Department, the City and County of Denver, and to my community."

Epple had been with the Denver Police Department since 2001 and was a supervisor in District 3.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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