Ex-cop on probation charged with new drug crime

2013-03-04T16:30:00Z 2013-03-30T16:52:20Z Ex-cop on probation charged with new drug crimeBy GREG TUTTLE gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A former Billings police sergeant on probation for forging drug prescriptions is facing a new charge after an off-duty officer found him trying to get inside West High School during the weekend.

Edwin Les Young, 43, appeared Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court by video from the county jail on a felony drug possession charge.

Judge Larry Herman set bond at $7,500, which he ordered concurrent to a $15,000 bond he set on a probation hold.

According to court records, Young was arrested Saturday after an off-duty Billings police officer, David Firebaugh, found Young trying to get into West High School.

Firebaugh told an on-duty officer who arrived at the school that Young appeared to be intoxicated.

Young was arrested and taken to the county jail where three oxycodone pills were found in his jeans pocket, prosecutors allege.

In October, Young was ordered to serve concurrent three-year deferred sentences for two counts of fraudulently obtaining dangerous drugs. Young admitted to submitting fake prescriptions with forged signatures to obtain oxycodone.

Young was also ordered to complete the Veterans Treatment Court program and pay a $750 fine.

In court records, Young was described as suffering from "extreme mental or emotional distress" caused by physical pain and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his law enforcement and military service. 

A week after he was sentenced, Young was arrested for failing to report to his probation officer. Prosecutors at that time did not seek to revoke his deferred sentence.

On Monday, Deputy County Attorney Robert Spoja said prosecutors will soon begin the revocation process.

Spoja also said Young could be charged in the new drug case as a persistent felony offender, which carries a possible sentence enhancement of between five and 100 years in prison.

Young was a Billings police officer from 1997 to 2009. He was a sergeant when he took medical retirement.  

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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