Pine County Sheriff’s Deputy Facing Seven Charges For Alleged Theft (Audio From Sheriff Cole)
A Pine County sheriff’s deputy is facing six felony counts for allegedly stealing narcotics while on duty.
According to a criminal complaint filed on Wednesday, Pine County deputy Justin Stoddard, 27, of Lake Elmo, admitted to a Chisago County investigator on Nov. 5 that he stole Oxycodone and Percocet pills from four victims during the last two months.
The criminal complaint says that Stoddard would ask his victims while on duty if they were taking any medications. When his victims said yes, he told them he needed to take pictures of the medication.
While taking pictures in the victim’s bathroom or in his car, Stoddard stole pills.
Stoddard would then return to his victims’ homes periodically, asking to photograph the medication again, claiming that the initial pictures were blurry or that he accidentally deleted them.
According to the criminal complaint, one victim was said to have seen Stoddard pouring pills into his hand. The victim then inventoried her pills and found that Stoddard had stolen 43 Oxycodone pills between Sept. 22 and Oct. 6.
Stoddard faces seven counts: two felony counts of theft of a controlled substance; two felony counts of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance; two felony counts of fifth-degree possessing of a controlled substance by fraud; and one count of misconduct, a gross misdemeanor.
If convicted of all counts, Stoddard faces a maximum sentence of up to 41 years in prison and/or an $83,000 fine.
A warrant was issued Wednesday for his arrest. Pine County authorities say Stoddard is currently on administrative leave.
This morning on the Pine County Sheriff’s Report, Sheriff Cole addressed the situation.