Formal charges filed against ex-police detective

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The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed felony charges Friday morning against former Craig Police detective Ken Johnson and local resident Tausha Merwin in Moffat County Court.

Johnson is charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony; accessory to crime, a Class 5 felony; and embezzlement of public property, also a Class 5 felony.

Merwin is charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 5 felony.

Prosecutors allege Johnson lied to Craig Police Department officials, including Police Chief Walt Vanatta, during a March internal investigation into suspicions other law enforcement officers had about his behavior.

According to the charging document and an arrest warrant affidavit, it also is alleged Johnson gave Merwin confidential information about ongoing law enforcement investigations and the names of confidential police informants.

In addition, Johnson is suspected of helping Merwin violate terms of her probation for charges of drug distribution and drug possession, and with giving Merwin a laptop computer and other equipment owned by law enforcement.

Merwin is charged with aiding Johnson in his attempts to deceive the police department's internal investigation.

Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Snow said his office will continue a "complete investigation" of Johnson and Merwin, and he could not say whether additional charges will be filed.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or esmith@craigdailypress.com.

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