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Probation Officer Threatened To Revoke Client's Probation If Drugs, Cash Not Provided

LAMAR, Colo. (CBS4) - A Prowers County probation officer was arrested on felony charges after obtaining cash and illicit drugs from a man whose probation case he managed, according to court documents.

Todd Eric Cope, 35, was arrested by Colorado Bureau of Investigations agents September 8th, minutes after he accepted $250 in cash and five pills from his probation client.

Four of the pills were Oxycodone.

Todd Eric Cope (Lamar Cop Drugs, from Prowers County Jail)
Todd Eric Cope (credit: Prowers County Jail)

CBI agents recorded the transaction with electronic surveillance equipment. They stepped in to Cope's office at the Prowers County Probation Department and confronted him, per an arrest affidavit provided to CBS4. Cope initially denied any illegal activity.

Cope was charged with felony bribery and two felony drug charges (posseseion and distribution), plus First Degree Official Misconduct, a misdemeanor.

"Todd Cope is currently on administrative leave," said Byron Hall, Chief Probation Officer for Prowers County. "An internal investigation is being conducted."

Hall confirmed Cope was previously an officer with the Lamar Police Department.

When questioned later, Cope told investigators he had received edible marijuana, pills and cash from his probation client three other times since Decemeber of 2016. The client told investigators he had delivered five to 10 times previously, totaling as much as $5,000 and 15-20 pills.

The client allowed investigators to view text messages sent between he and Cope. In one of those messages, Cope wrote "Bring my (emoji of a bag of money)". In another, he seemed to threaten the client with revocation of his probation if the client did not cooperate: "Revo? I can do that. Lol"

"Freedom is priceless, lol" Cope texted on another occasion.

The client worked as a confidential police informant for three or four months directly with Cope during Cope's employment as a Lamar police officer, according to the document.

The client was convicted in 2011 of harassment for making threats to Cope and his family.

The current investigation began when the client contacted local authorities.

Cope, who lives in Lamar, is free on $10,000 bond. He is due back in court October 5th.



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