DRAPER, Utah, Sept. 7, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A corrections officer at Utah State Prison has been arrested after allegedly smuggling drugs to inmates, according to charging documents.
A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County said Byron Curt Stoddard, 45, is facing charges of:
- Distribute/offer/arrange distribution of controlled substance, a second-degree felony
- Distribute/offer/arrange distribution of controlled substance, a third-degree felony
According to the statement, the Utah Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Bureau received tips from three separate inmates, who wished to remain anonymous, claiming Stoddard was being paid by inmates to bring controlled substances into the Utah State Prison.
“Investigators listened to recorded inmate phone calls and heard conversation indicating a drug transaction was imminent,” the statement said. “Investigators began conducting surveillance on Stoddard and observed him enter a residence which had possible ties to drug trafficking.”
After Stoddard left this residence, a traffic stop was conducted after investigators observed him operating a mobile device while driving and failing to maintain his lane of travel, the probable cause statement said.
“A Utah County K-9 officer responded to walk around the vehicle,” the statement continued. “The K-9 handler notified investigators he observed behavior in his K-9 indicative of the presence of drugs. A search of the vehicle was conducted. Approximately 1.5 oz of a white crystalline substance, 28 orange strips consistent in appearance to Suboxone, a schedule III substance frequently trafficked at the prison, one syringe with a red-colored liquid, and a number of unused syringes were located in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.”
After being read his Miranda rights, Stoddard allegedly admitted to the possession of the illegal substances. “He additionally admitted to having been offered money to smuggle substances into the facility, having previously completed one ‘drop’ of illegal substances to inmates inside the facility,” the statement said.
Stoddard was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, with his bail set at set at $2,500.