Updated: 11/15/2012 10:28 AM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen
A Pine County Sheriff's deputy is facing seven charges in connection to the alleged theft of prescription drugs while he was on duty.
Prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Deputy Justin Stoddard Wednesday.
Investigators say Stoddard responded to a home on a custody dispute Sept. 21. After dealing with the dispute, Stoddard asked the woman at the home if she was taking any medications. The woman said she was taking oxycodone.
The complaint says Stoddard told her he needed to take pictures of the area where she stores the oxycodone, in the event that her ex-husband ever made an issue of whether their child could reach the medication.
Stoddard returned to the home three times between Sept. 22 and 29, saying he needed further pictures of the medication because the previous pictures were blurry. He returned another three times between Oct. 2 and 6, saying his boss needed more documentation of the medication.
The woman says on Oct. 6 she saw Stoddard pouring pills out of her bottle into his hand while in the bathroom to take the pictures. After he left, she discovered that Stoddard took 43 oxycodone pills between Sept. 22 and Oct. 6.
On Oct. 29, Stoddard knocked on the door of a home in Pine City and asked if anyone saw a suspicious car driving around the area. He told the residents that daytime thieves often steal narcotics and asked if they were on medications, the complaint says. The residents said they took Percocet and oxycodone. Stoddard wanted to photograph the bottles in case something was to happen to them, so he took them out to his squad car and returned about five minutes later, according to the complaint.
The next day, he returned to ask again about the suspicious car and said he accidentally deleted the photos of their medication bottles. He asked to photograph them again.
Later that morning, the residents discovered a total of 25 oxycodone pills and 25 Percocet pills were missing.
When an investigator interviewed Stoddard Nov. 5, he initially denied the thefts, but later admitted he had a problem with medication and admitted to stealing the pills.
Stoddard is currently on administrative leave from the Pine County Sheriff's Office.