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An El Paso County deputy coroner has confessed to stealing and selling prescription drugs collected from the homes of dead people, according to court documents.
Leon Carl Moynier, 32, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of distributing prescription drugs, a felony that carries a prison term of four to 12 years and a fine of $3,000 to $750,000.
Moynier was fired the same day from the El Paso County Coroner?s Office, where he had worked for about two years. He remained jailed Tuesday on $50,000 bail.
?This is the first case I?ve ever heard of, not only in Colorado but elsewhere,? said Arapahoe County Coroner Dr. Michael Dobersen, president of the Colorado Coroners Association. ?It doesn?t surprise me, because the potential is there.?
El Paso County Coroner David Bowerman couldn?t be reached for comment.
A deputy coroner?s job includes assisting medical examiners with autopsies, removing bodies from homes, hospitals and other locations, and collecting prescriptions of those who died.
Coroners use the medicine to make sure the victim was taking the prescribed dosage and didn?t die because of an overdose.
Coroner?s offices vary on how long they hold the drugs before disposing of them. Dobersen?s office disposes of the drugs every six months, while the El Paso County Coroner?s Office does it weekly.
Moynier admitted to Colo- rado Springs police that he had been stealing prescription drugs such as the pain pills Vicodin and Percocet for about a year, according to an arrest affidavit, a document a judge signs that outlines evidence supporting an arrest.
He told police he sold pills to a few friends for 50 cents to $1 apiece, bringing in about $250 the past year, the affidavit said.
April Moynier allegedly told police her husband would bring home ?a number of loose pills in a biohazard bag? when he was on call for the Coroner?s Office.
?Ms. Moynier stated that her husband would bring home prescription bottles with the names scratched off the label,? Colorado Springs police officer Daniel Thompson wrote in the affidavit.
The court papers also allege Moynier was selling marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms.
Police said they found a Vicodin tablet in Moynier?s pants pocket when they arrested him.
In his county-issued employee car, police said, they found a .32-caliber handgun, 52 pills of the pain medication hydrocodone bitrate, 86 pills of the sedative diazepam and about 5? grams of marijuana.
Moynier has two criminal convictions in Colorado, according to court papers.
He pleaded guilty in August 1999 to driving while ability impaired by alcohol or drugs, a misdemeanor, and failing to drive in marked lanes. In October 1999, he pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.