MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Pine County sheriff’s deputy faces six felony counts for allegedly stealing narcotics while on duty, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Pine County deputy Justin Stoddard, 27, of Lake Elmo, admitted on Nov. 5 to a Chisago County investigator that he stole pills (oxycodone and Percocet) from four victims during the last two months, a criminal complaint says.
A warrant was issued Wednesday for his arrest. Pine County authorities say Stoddard is on administrative leave.
The criminal complaint says that Stoddard would find his victims while on duty and ask if they were taking any medications. When his victims said yes, he told them he needed to take pictures of the medication. He allegedly told one woman her medications could come up in a child custody battle.
While taking pictures in the victim’s bathroom or in his car, Stoddard stole pills.
Stoddard would then return to his victims’ homes, asking to photograph the medication again, claiming that the initial pictures were blurry or that he accidentally deleted them.
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, the criminal complaint said.
The seven counts Stoddard faces are: 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.